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Arkansas Inheritance Laws

Inheritance Funding: How do you get a timely Probate Advance or Inheritance Advance, often called “Inheritance Loans”, “Estate Loans” or “Probate Loans” by Heirs in Arkansas who are looking to get funded

If you are expecting an inheritance in Arkansas, and are looking forward to getting an advance on inheritance, typically as large an inheritance advance as you can get approved for – frequently called inheritance loan advances or inheritance advance loans, or just inheritance loans, or probate loans, by heirs, despite the fact that these cash advances are cash advance assignments, not loans. This sort of terminology has become popular with heirs and attorneys, as well as your average inheritance funding company, generally the best inheritance advance company available to you, to get probate advance rates, or as many heirs refer to it – probate loan rates, inheritance loans fees, or inheritance loan rates, which are always available from inheritance cash advance companies at no cost. Whatever the terminology, the outcome is the same, as far as inheritance cash advance companies are concerned – regarding an inheritance advance, probate advances or standard inheritance advance funding for heirs

Terminology: Inheritance Advance vs. Inheritance Loans – Do you Apply for a Cash Assignment… or “Borrow Against Inheritance”?

Heirs of estates in Arkansas will generally get an advance on inheritance from one of several online based probate cash advance or inheritance  advance companies, when they need fast funds from a trust or during probate. Even though the inheritance funding process is inheritance advance funding with inheritance cash advance assignments, and not an interest and credit based  loan, correctly called an advance on inheritance… inheritance cash advances, an inheritance advance or probate advance, a probate cash advance and estate advance, etc. from inheritance cash advance companies – these financial solutions are frequently called “probate loans”, “inheritance loans” and “estate loans”… or a loan on inheritance; and sometimes probate advance loans, inheritance advance loans or inheritance loan advance, by heirs and by account reps or sales reps at your everyday average inheritance funding company – mainly because everyone else calls it by those terms, and it’s convenient. And for no other reason.  Heirs also refer to the process as “borrowing against inheritance”, or getting a “loan on inheritance” or a “loan against inheritance”.

Which of Arkansas’ 75 Counties Allow Advance on Inheritance, or Inheritance Cash Out, Transactions? What Many Beneficiaries and Heirs Call “Inheritance Loans”, “Estate Loans” or “Probate Loans”

Arkansas allows inheritance cash advance companies to provide advance on inheritance or inheritance advance services, which many heirs call “inheritance cash out solutions from any legitimate inheritance loan company” – in all 75 counties in Arkansas.

1. How Can You Tell If You’ll be Approved for Inheritance Funding?

It’s a fairly straight forward process to figure out whether or not you will be eligible or qualified for an inheritance advance. Most heirs of estates in probate are middle class, not wealthy,  and expect to receive relatively modest and simple assets, cash and/or property. Middle class estates are generally not complex and massive, as well to do families typically can expect to receive. 

Generally, middle class heirs can expect to inherit an older home, usually once their parents’ house, possibly some other real estate, some cash in bank accounts, possibly a retirement account or interests in a family company, perhaps an  insurance policy, and possibly shares in modest investment accounts

2.  How large an Inheritance Advance  can you get from an Inheritance Funding Company?

Typically, your average inheritance funding company will provide an inheritance advance, trust fund advance or probate cash advance, in the range of $2,000 to $100,000 on average. Although some inheritance cash advance companies will furnish more, if called upon to do so, yet this is relatively rare.

No inheritance funding company will extend an inheritance advance totaling your entire inheritance, only a portion of it, generally 30% on property based inheritance advances, and up to 60% on inheritances that are liquid assets.  However, the size of probate advance or inheritance advance, often called an inheritance loan or probate loan by heirs, varies from company to company. Some aggressive inheritance lenders will advance up to 70%, but not many and not often.

3. Getting an Inheritance Advance or Estate Advance from “Inheritance Lenders”

Once you have contacted your inheritance funding company of choice, and sign your inheritance cash advance company’s trust advance or probate advance Agreement, the clock is ticking until close of probate and payback of the inheritance advance, or inheritance loan, as many heirs call it. Inheritance cash advance companies generally do their best to  get you your inheritance advance as quickly as possible, and to take all the steps necessary to correctly process your cash advance assignment.

However, probate does take longer to close than most heirs would like, yet because banks and credit unions do not provide loans on inheritance or an advance on inheritance, every heir’s options are rather limited. They simply do not have a lot of financial avenues to go down to get advance inheritance money, with fast funding turnaround, and none of the voluminous and invasive paperwork requirements that are imposed by credit and interest based funding sources.

5. How Fast Must Inheritance Advance Funds be Paid Back to Inheritance Lenders for Standard Inheritance Funding?

Some heirs, after they borrow against inheritance, struggle to pay back their inheritance cash advance to the inheritance funding company they chose, as quickly as possible – however, most middle class heirs generally end up not being able to accomplish this, and must wait for probate to close to pay off their trust fund cash advance or probate advance.  As part of the transaction, inheritance cash advance companies are typically sent a check to finalize payback by the attorney of record, when the estate closes. Moreover, many “inheritance lenders” provide rebates and discounts for heirs that pay back their probate advance, or inheritance loan as heirs would call it, in advance of probate closing.

Arkansas Inheritance Laws

When you pass away, you leave all your property, assets and money behind, for your heirs. Inheritance laws in Arkansas make requirements clear, concerning your will, concerning how non-willable property is inherited, and what occurs if you pass away with no will.

Intestacy in Arkansas

When you do not leave a will naming beneficiaries or heirs that are set to inherit your estate, Arkansas intestacy laws cover how will inherit their share of your estate. Unlike most states, in which the surviving spouse is the first to inherit, Arkansas statute 28-9-214 reveals how your children, if living, are entitled in inherit equal shares of the estate. In Arkansas, if there are no children and you have been married to your spouse for at least three years, the surviving spouse will inherit only 50% of the estate. The decedent's parents, if living, will also be entitled to inherit half of the estate. If the decedent is not survived by children, a spouse or parents, his siblings and their children -- the decedent's nieces and nephews -- will inherit equal shares of the entire estate.

Non-Willable Property in Arkansas

Not everything is passed down through a will. If a decedent had a joint bank account or owned any property, including real estate, jointly with another person, the surviving owner automatically inherits the decedent's interest in the property. This is because joint property is owned with a right of survivorship. Additionally, life insurance policies often have named beneficiaries. If the decedent had life insurance, the beneficiary will receive the proceeds. A decedent cannot name a different beneficiary in his or her will. If there is property held in trust for another person, frequently in a bank account, that beneficiary is allowed complete control of the account when the decedent dies.

Arkansas Testator Requirements

A testator is the person who makes a will. Anyone can make a will if he is at least 18 and is fully competent. Mental competence means that a testator must be "of sound mind" and be aware of all of his property and whom he wants to name as beneficiaries. The testator is free to select anyone as a beneficiary, including a friend, relative or charitable organization. However, the will must be voluntary. Any undue influence by a potential beneficiary can invalidate a will.

Signing a Will in Arkansas

An inheritance from a will must be signed in concert with Arkansas inheritance law. The will has to be in writing, and generally typed. "Holographic" or handwritten wills may be acceptable in an Arkansas court, but the handwriting has to be the testator's handwriting – and this can often be very difficult to prove after the testator has passed away. Most importantly – a will must be signed. The testator must sign the will at the end of the document. Any provisions below the signature line are void. If the testator is unable to sign, he or she will direct someone else to sign for him or her. That person has to sign the testator's name and the signature must be executed with the testator watching. Two impartial persons must witness the will signing. Witnesses have to be 18 years old or older, and cannot be beneficiaries in the will.

Arkansas Probate Process

Probate is the legal process by which an estate is settled under the supervision of the probate court. Generally a surviving spouse or adult son or daughter is appointed by the court to be executor, executrix, or Personal Representative if there is no will; or is nominated by the deceased person's will, if there is a will. This executor, executrix or Personal Representative has legal authority to organize and evaluate the estate assets, to pay bills and taxes, and, eventually, to distribute assets to the heirs or beneficiaries.

The purpose of probate is to prevent fraud after a person dies. Probate freezes the estate assets until the probate judge determines that the will is valid, and that all relevant people have been notified, that all property has been identified and appraised,  that all creditors have been paid back, and that all taxes have been paid. Once that has been accomplished, the probate court issues an Order distributing all assets, cash and property – and the estate is then closed.

Not all estates have to go through the probate process. If an estate falls beneath a certain threshold, this is considered a "small estate" and does not require court supervision to be settled.

Moreover, not all the assets in an estate are subject to probate. Some types of assets transfer automatically on the death of the owner without probate being required.  The most common types of assets that pass without probate are:

  1. Joint Tenancy assets: When one joint tenant dies, the surviving joint tenant becomes the owner of the entire asset, without the need for a court order. This is called "right of survivorship."
  2. Tenancy by the Entirety or Community Property With Right of Survivorship: These are forms of property ownership that function like joint tenancy, in that the survivor owns the entire property at the death of the other tenant, but are only concerning married couples.
  3. Beneficiary Designations: Retirement accounts and life insurance policies have named beneficiaries. Upon the death of the account or policy owner, these beneficiaries are entitled to the assets in the account or the proceeds of the policy.
  4. Payable on Death Accounts/Transfer on Death Accounts: Bank and brokerage accounts can have designated beneficiaries, too. The account owner can fill out forms to designate who should receive the account assets after their death.

Also, if a decedent had created a Living Trust to hold large assets, that estate, also, will not go through probate, unless the assets left outside of the trust add up to more than Arkansas's small estate limit. That, in fact, is why that Living Trust was created, to avoid probate after the death of the trust's Grantor.

But for estates in Arkansas that exceed the small estate's threshold, and for which there is either no Will, or a Will (but not a Living Trust), probate will be required before an estate can be transferred to the decedent's heirs or beneficiaries.

General procedures required to settle an estate in probate in Arkansas:

  1. The Will must be filed in the county where the decedent lived.
  2. A Petition for Probate must be filed as well. This requests the appointment of an executor. If there is no Will, the Court will appoint someone to serve as the Administrator/Personal Representative of the estate.  Notice must be given to all heirs and beneficiaries, as required by the court.
  3. Once the Petition for Probate is filed, a notice must be published in a newspaper where the decedent lived. This is to notify potential creditors of the proceeding.
  4. The Court will issue "Letters Testamentary" to the executor/Personal Representative -- this gives the executor the legal authority to act on behalf of the estate.
  5. An inventory of the estate's assets must be filed with the court
  6. Once all of the creditors and taxes have been paid, a Petition to close the probate must be filed with the court.
  7. The Court will issue an Order, distributing the estate's property to the beneficiaries.
  8. The executor is entitled to fees for their services, but since such fees are subject to income tax (which inheritances aren't, unless Arkansas has an inheritance tax), many executors forgo the fees.

What happens to property in Arkansas if you die without a will?

Dying without a will does not mean your property will not go to your surviving family.  Your closest remaining relatives will be in line to receive your property, based on Arkansas’s laws of “intestate succession.”  The term “intestate” means without a will.  So, instead of your property going specifically to people you choose, it will go to your relatives as determined by law. How your estate is actually distributed depends entirely on which relatives survive you (which means they are still alive when you die).

Intestate Succession in Arkansas.

The simplest answer to the question, “what will happen to my property if I die without a will,” is that your property will go to your closest living relative(s).  The laws in Arkansas, establish the order of priority.  Your surviving children, and the descendants of any of your children who may have died before you, will receive shares of your estate.  If there are no children, your surviving spouse will inherit, unless you were married for less than 3 years at the time of your death.  If that’s the case, your spouse will only receive half of the estate.

If you have no spouse or children, but your parents are still living, they will share equally.  Next would be your siblings and any descendants of your siblings that died before you.  Next in line would be grandparents, uncles and aunts, great-grandparents, etc. until there is no one else.  Only then, would your estate go to the county where you resided at the time of your death.  These laws were designed with the specific purpose of making sure your property is given to your relatives, even the remotest ones.  So, unless you have no surviving family when you die, the county will not end up with your property.

Limitations.

Intestate succession only applies to property that you owned in your name alone.  If you have joint property, it will not be a part of your estate.  For example, if you own a vehicle with your son and both of your names are on the title, the vehicle will pass to your son when you die.  Some other examples of property that is not controlled by the laws of intestate succession are retirement accounts, life insurance policies and other items that have specifically named beneficiaries.

While Arkansas’s Intestate Succession laws are straightforward for the most part, there are some specific requirements for certain situations. For instance, a relative cannot inherit unless they have outlived you by at least five days.  However, a relative who was not born until after your death, but was conceived before your death, can still inherit.  Also, there is no distinction between “half” siblings, who are treated the same as whole siblings.

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