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To Probate or Not To Probate?

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My mother-in-law died about a yr and half ago in Arkansas. The only thing she had of value was a home and eleven acres of ground that she had a clear deed to. She did NOT have a will. Nothing has been done to change anything out of her name, utilities, the deed to property, ect. She had a grown handicapped son that lived with her that is still living in the house, with another sister staying with him looking after him. A few wks ago the house ins came due and the sister found out the house wasn't really insured enough and wanted to up the insurance, but the ins company said that they couldn't do that since she is deceased without the estate being probated. One of the son in laws maintains that the house automatically goes to the heirs ( the six remaining children) and doesn't have to go to probate. I told him that in Iowa if one doesn't have a will and no co-owner on property it has to go to probate and he maintains it is different in Arkansas.....Is this correct....He said a lawyer told him that as long as all the children agree not to sell the property and keep in the family we can leave everything as is, in her name. That just doesnt' sound legal to me.


Senior Member
I am NOT an ARK lawyer but it sure doesn't sound right to me. Going thru probate and getting clear title should not be a hassle or large expense and the heirs can then put title in any name(s) they want.


I too contacted a lawyer when my father died and was told the same thing. Although I have recently decided to take it to probate because I do not want to be held responsible for anything that goes on at the property.

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