Probate is a process that people like to say bad things about. The reality is this process is meant to be helpful. Fidelity explains it is the legal process for settling an estate. Not every estate will go through probate in Arkansas. However, if your loved one’s estate does, then it is helpful to know what will happen during the process.

Your loved one’s estate will go through probate if he or she did not have a will or estate plan and individually owned all of his or her assets. In this situation, the court will make decisions about who now owns each asset. The court will follow state law as to ownership.

An estate may also go through the process even with an estate plan if the person individually owned his or her assets. This is to ensure the observance of the person’s wishes about who gets what asset.

Property with a joint owner will pass automatically to the other owner. Trusts, transfer on death accounts and accounts with beneficiaries will also transfer outside of probate because of their legal setup.

When an estate goes through this process, the proceedings are public. So, it does remove the privacy of an estate.

You may have to go to court during probate. If someone objects or tries to contest the will, you may have to testify in court. How long probate takes depends on the specific estate. Sometimes, it is a quick process, and other times, it can take a while. This information is for education and is not legal advice.