Probate Administration

Probate Administration

When an Arkansas resident dies, his or her assets must be identified, inventoried, valued, and ultimately distributed. If the deceased person ("the decedent") had a valid will, the Probate Court will distribute assets in accordance with that document; if not, the distribution will be made according to Arkansas inheritance law. The Court will also appoint a personal representative for the decedent's estate; this person oversees the management and distribution of the estate assets.

The process described above is called probate administration or estate administration. The attorneys at Crouch, Harwell, Fryar & Ferner, PLLC, have decades of experience in guiding families in Northwest Arkansas through the often-complex probate process.

Navigating the Probate Process

Though many people minimize their probate estate (the assets that must go through the probate process) with careful estate planning, most people do leave behind some assets that must go through probate. The attorneys at Crouch, Harwell, Fryar & Ferner, PLLC, regularly help personal representatives execute their duties, which include:

  • Locating and securing assets of the decedent's estate
  • Notifying interested parties of the probate process
  • Obtaining values and appraisals for estate property
  • Managing and securing estate property
  • Paying valid claims by creditors of the estate
  • Filing tax returns
  • Distributing estate assets
  • Maintaining thorough and accurate records
  • Making required reports to the Probate Court
  • Securing Probate Court approval of certain actions and decisions

If a personal representative fails to properly execute his or her responsibilities, the probate process can become more drawn-out and expensive and the personal representative can be held liable for mistakes or mismanagement. For this reason, most personal representatives prefer to have the assistance of knowledgeable attorneys familiar with the Probate Court and its requirements.

Occasionally, heirs and beneficiaries other than the personal representative wish to have an attorney represent their interests in the probate process, particularly if they disagree with the personal representative's handling of the estate. Our attorneys have extensive experience assisting parties to a probate matter or dispute to ensure that concerns regarding the estate are promptly and properly resolved.

Knowledgeable, Compassionate Probate Guidance

Whether you are a personal representative, heir, or beneficiary of an estate, Crouch, Harwell, Fryar & Ferner, PLLC, will offer you the information you need to understand the probate process and the support you need to get through it. We are mindful that probate is about more than assets and their distribution; each probate case involves the loss of a client's family member or loved one.

We are available to assist you with all of your probate and estate administration needs. Contact us today at (479) 751-5222, by e-mail at, or using our contact form to discuss how you and your family can benefit from our years of experience.