Although the law still requires that any guardian must be approved and appointed by the Court, your trust can immediately establish funds for the named guardian to use to care for your children while waiting for the final guardianship papers. The trust can also direct your trustee to hire an attorney of your choosing and to pay the attorney fees that will be needed to set up the guardianship. Normally the trust will have some assets, even if only the proceeds of your life insurance, to help the guardian with the expenses to raise your children.
This probate is faster and easier. It is available when the total value of all assets in the estate—personal property, all bank accounts, all real estate, etc.—is less than $100,000. It is filed 45 days after the decedent’s death, no personal representative is appointed, and there must be no creditor’s claims against the estate.Probate for Estates valued over $100,000
Probate is more complex when the estate is valued over $100,000. The help of an experienced attorney is invaluable in the probate process. If your probate involves a valid will, the Court will divide the assets according to the terms of the will. If there is not a valid will, the Court will divide the property according to Arkansas laws that state who has a share in the assets. Some property is not part of the estate and passes directly to the joint owner or beneficiary outside of probate—such as life insurance proceeds, money in a joint bank account, retirement accounts and property held in trust. Real property is also not normally part of the estate. The Court will appoint a personal representative or administrator who will work closely with the attorney for the estate. The personal representative or administrator has the authority to act on behalf of the estate. The attorney will assist you in properly publishing the probate and notifying all heirs and creditors of the estate. Heirs and creditors have 6 months from the date the probate is published to file any objections or claims against the estate with the Court. If after 6 months no objections or claims have been filed then the attorney will assist you in closing and distributing the estate.