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Blytheville Probate of Estates

Probate is a legal procedure that can occur upon the death of a person (called the decedent). Probate has two main purposes:

(a) To give creditors an opportunity to file a claim against the estate of the decedent for any just and valid debts that were owed by the decedent at the time or his or her death.

(b) To obtain a Court Order naming the persons (normally the heirs) who are the legal owners of the property of the decedent.

An estate can be probated with or without a Will. Probate may not be necessary if the decedent jointly owned property or assets with another person (such as a spouse).

Arkansas law allows a "shortcut" method of probate if the value of the estate is less than $100,000.00, called an Affidavit for Collection of Small Estate by Distributees.

The Affidavit for Collection of Small Estate by Distributees must be signed by one or more of the heirs, notarized, and then filed with the Probate Court.

A legal notice is then published in the local newspaper for 3 months. At the end of 3 months, a Court Order can be obtained vesting legal title in the heirs of the property.

The requirements for an Affidavit for Collection of Small Estate by Distributees are as follows:

1. No petition for the appointment of a personal representative is pending or has been granted.

2. More than forty-five (45) days have elapsed since the death of the decedent.

3. The value, less encumbrances, of all property owned by the decedent at the time of death does not exceed $100,000.00.

4. That there are no unpaid claims or demands against the decedent or his estate.

5. That the Department of Human Services furnished no federal or state benefits to the decedent, or, if such benefits have been furnished, the Department of Human Services has been reimbursed in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations.

6. A legal notice must be published in the local newspaper, stating that all persons having claims against the estate are required to exhibit them, properly verified, within 3 months from the date of the first publication of this notice, or they shall be forever barred and precluded from any benefit in the estate

Information typically needed for preparing the Affidavit for Collection of Small Estate by Distributees:

In regard to decedent:

1. date of birth;

2. last known address;

3. place of death;

4. date of death;

5. age at the time of death;

In regard to his heirs:

1. legal name of each heir;

2. mailing address;

3. relationship;

4. age;

In regard to the assets:

1. An itemized description and valuation of real and personal property.

2. The name and address of the heir(s) that have possession of the property.

In regard to debts: An itemized list of all unpaid debts (name of creditor, address, and amount)

Whether the decedent was preceded in death by an heir or spouse.

Whether the decedent had a Will.

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Address: 315 North Second Street, P.O. Box 1343 Blytheville, Arkansas 72316 Phone: (870) 763-4926