Arkansas Small Estate Affidavit

The Arkansas Small Estate Affidavit is a legal resource that can be utilized by an individual (the “Successor”) who wants to avoid entering into a costly and lengthy probate process in order to stake their claim to a small estate of a deceased individual (the “Decedent”). This document may only be used when a) the Decedent did not leave a will, and b) the estate’s value reflects the definition of a “small estate” provided in state law. That is, as per § 28-41-101(a)(3), the estate “does not exceed one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000)”.

Laws & Required Conditions

Laws: § 28-41-101

Maximum Estate Value: $100,000

Required Conditions: The Arkansas Code (specifically, Title 28, Subtitle 4, Chapter 41, § 28-41-101) notes numerous mandatory conditions regarding the filing of an Arkansas Small Estate Affidavit. That is:

  • A personal representative has not been appointed and there is no current petition for their appointment,
  • The Decedent’s death was at minimum forty-five (45) days prior to the date of filing the Affidavit,
  • The Affidavit, of which must meet all of the requirements stated in § 28-41-101(A)(4), is filed with “the probate clerk of the circuit court of the county of proper venue for administration”,
  • Any individual “owing any money, having custody of any property, or acting as registrar or transfer agent of any evidence of interest, indebtedness, property, or right” is furnished with a certified copy of the Affidavit,
  • The Affidavit must be duly filed by the clerk, and the Successor must pay any mandatory fees,
  • In cases where real property is involved in the estate claim, a notice of the Decedent’s death and the filing of the Affidavit must be published according to the guidelines stated in § 28-41-101(a)(5)(B).