How Do You Avoid Probate in Arkansas?

Avoiding probate in Arkansas primarily comes down to good estate planning. A little bit of pre-planning and foresight can save plenty of headaches down the road. Natural State Law is here to help advise through the entire process.

The Arkansas probate process can be long, expensive, and arduous. Working through a loved one’s assets can also be emotionally exhausting, and it’s often a process families (or those assigned to deal with the estate) want to avoid. Fortunately, there are many ways to avoid probate, such as owning property jointly, payable on death (POD) accounts, or forfeiture of property before death. This post explains some of these in more detail.

Arkansas Small Estate Laws

If the total value of the estate is $100,000 or less after all claims have been paid and it’s been 45 days since the death, the estate may be able to bypass probate. This is formally known as “Collection of Small Estate” and can be guided by an estate planning attorney if no one person feels comfortable doing it on his or her own.

Preparing Estate Vehicles to Bypass Probate

Other options for avoiding probate include drafting and formalizing wills and trusts before the property owner’s death. These documents can ensure a clear and orderly transition of property, keeping it out of probate. One good option is a living trust, which is a vehicle for property placement and delineates clear control plans upon the trustee’s death. Once the trustee dies, a successor trustee will be able to transfer the holdings without probate.

Another option is establishing joint ownership of significant property such as a car or house. This will ensure that if one spouse dies, the other would automatically gain ownership of the specified asset. Arkansas recognizes “tenancy by the entirety,” which signifies property ownership by a married couple.

Even just adding a “transfer on death” (TOD) beneficiary name can solve plenty of headaches and issues in the event of the owner’s death.


As you can tell, the first step to avoiding probate is building a proper estate plan under the guidance of a trusted Arkansas estate planning attorney. The team at Natural State Law is standing by to help answer all of your questions and help you understand the probate process. Call (501) 916-2878 to learn more and schedule a free consultation.