When you hear about probate, you likely start to worry. This process gets a lot of bad press, but it is not as horrible as it may seem. In fact, it is a legal process that is necessary to ensure that things happen according to your wishes. Typically, as long as you have a solid estate plan, your case will get through probate in an Arkansas court within a reasonable time.
There are some things, though, that could hold up your case and extend probate. Forbes suggests that it is best if you plan for these delays now so that you can do whatever possible to avoid them.
The biggest cause of delay is a challenge from an heir who does not agree with some aspect of your estate plan. He or she could contend that someone coerced you into making decisions, or he or she could say your documents are not legitimate. Someone could also object if that person feels that you were not of sound mind when creating your estate plan.
Another issue is that of debt. Your creditors have the right to go after your estate to get payment for your outstanding debts. This could delay the process, as the creditors will need to prove their claims. Your family or personal representative may object. The court may have to look into the matter before making a decision.
Another issue that aligns somewhat with an heir challenging your estate is if you leave out a potential heir. For example, if you have no mention of your son but included your daughters, your son could say that it was an oversight and try to fight the validity of your documents.
There are many ways your estate could end up stuck in probate with the court having to hear evidence and make a ruling. In general, you can often avoid such issues by creating a legally sound estate plan.