Probate Attorney in Northwest Arkansas

We focus on probate so you can focus on family.

Probate

Losing a loved one is tough…but navigating through the maze of the courts makes it tougher.

Arkansas Probate Court is relatively easy to navigate, if you know what you are doing and the right order to do things in.

Find out if you even need probate.

Caring, Compassionate, Personal Service from an Attorney

Caring, Compassionate, Knowledgeable, & Understanding Service

Personal attention from a probate attorney, not a paralegal or other “specialist.”

Out attorneys use the latest, peer reviewed, processes and documentation so you get the best possible outcome.

Meet Gary

Northwest Arkansas Probate Attorney

I understand what it’s like to go through probate as a non-attorney…  I know how time consuming, confusing, and scary probate can be…

My dad passed away before I went to law school.  His passing was the reason I went to law school.

You see, after going through his probate, I thought there must be a better way to do this…So I went to law school; studied all I could on preventing probate and estate planning; and became a lawyer.

Now I spend my time doing probate and estate planning work.  For those that haven’t planned, or didn’t fully follow their plan, I do the probate. Since I’ve been through it myself, I know how frustrating the entire process can be and work with you in an understanding and empathetic manner.

And, I know in my heart, that I do the best I can for each and every person.

DeWitt Law Firm is Trusted By

estate planning stars

15 of 15.  Miracle for Sure.

S.D.

estate planning stars

We have trusted DeWitt Law Firm with our estate planning! We are pleased that all our t’s are crossed and our eyes dotted! Thank you Gary and Winnie!

M.H.
Fayetteville, Arkansas

estate planning stars

Thank you again for being such nice people. I was very on edge about all of this. Thanks for taking the time to make me feel at ease and helping me through this process.

D.S.
Springdale, Arkansas

Probate
Probate
2016 Very Best Lawyer Award
Probate
arkansas-bar

Our Team of Probate Professionals Are Ready to Help You

  • Find the decedent’s assets and property
  • Secure the estate property
  • Send notifications to the creditors and other “interested parties”
  • Value and appraise the property
  • Manage the estate property
  • Pay valid claims against the estate
  • Distribute the estate assets
  • Report to the Probate court
  • Get Probate Court approval as needed

How it Works…

1. Schedule an Appointment

The introductory meeting is designed to clarify and understand your unique situation.

2. Together We Create a Plan

Based on your concerns and goals, we come up with a map to navigate the maze of Probate.

3. Get Peace of Mind

With your plan created, we’ll get you through probate with the least angst possible.

Probate Frequently Asked Questions

Speak to an Attorney

What is probate and how long does it take?

Probate is the judicial process whereby a will is “proved” in a court of law and accepted as a valid public document that is the true last testament of the deceased, or whereby the estate is settled according to the laws of intestacy in the state of residence of the deceased at time of death in the absence of a legal will.

Technically, probate doesn’t take very long.  Just long enough for a Judge to review the Will and validate it.

What takes the longest is the administration of the estate.  That is paying the bills and distributing the property.  In Arkansas, you can expect at least 7 months to finish.  6 months of that is the time for any outstanding creditors to make claims.

Is probate required if there is a Will?

In Arkansas, Probate is required if the estate is valued above $100,000 or bills are owed even if there is a Will.

A Last Will and Testament requires Probate to be validated by the court and admitted by the court.  Without probate (and estate administration), there can be no distribution of the property.

Technically, Probate is admitting and validating the Will.  Then the rest of the process is called estate administration.

What does it mean to be in probate?

Probate is the process overseen by the court of admitting the Last Will and Testament (if there is one), paying bills, and distributing the final estate.  It includes locating all the property, safeguarding it, valuing it, and distributing it.  It also includes locating all the creditors and paying all the bills and debts of the deceased.  Finally, after all of that is done, what’s left of the estate is distributed.

What is Probate?

Probate is the judicial process whereby a will is “proved” in a court of law and accepted as a valid public document that is the true last testament of the deceased, or whereby the estate is settled according to the laws of intestacy in the state of residence of the deceased at time of death in the absence of a legal will.

No more, no less. Most people think of it as the entire process.

If the decedent didn’t have a Will (“intestate”), then technically it is only intestate succession. But, for convenience, we’ll call it probate. What follows after that is estate administration.

If there is a Will, then the instructions in the Will are followed. If there is not a Will, the State has written a plan for distributing the property and those instructions are followed. The State’s plan without a Will is called “Intestate Succession”. It is a form of estate administration under the tight supervision and scrutiny of the Court.

Since we cannot sign away our property anymore, the Court has to sign for us. The law has a way to transfer our property and pay off any valid debts we have left behind.

The Court picks a person to oversee the process (“Personal Representative, Executor, Executrix, Administrator, or Administratrix”). This Personal Representative will oversee the management and distribution of the estate assets.

With or without a Will, the decedent’s assets must be identified, inventoried, valued, safe guarded, and finally distributed. The distribution will happen either by the instructions in the Will, or by the State’s laws on distribution if there isn’t a Will.

Probate Attorney for Bella Vista, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale, Fayetteville and all of Northwest Arkansas