Thank you for using JustAnswer. I'm sorry to hear about your situation. When the retirement account does not designate a beneficiary (or any other account or financial asset) the proceeds go to the "estate
" and pass either according to the terms of a written will or (in the absence of a will) according to the laws of "intestate
succession". Intestate succession is a bit complicated in Arkansas, but a guide can be found here that explains it a bit better: http://law.uark.edu/faculty/buehler/2012Spring/Arkansas-Guide-to-Inheritance.pdf The point is that the funds go to the estate, and as such probate
would need to be opened to receive and distribute those funds. That being said, you need to contact an attorney in your area that deals with probate cases. Go to www.lawyers.com or www.legalmatch.com to find an attorney in your area. You should be able to find one that will give you a free initial consultation and better advise you of your rights, any problems with your case, likelihood of success, how courts are treating cases such as yours in your area, and what you should do next. Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!