Estate Laws in Kansas

By Heather Frances J.D.

The Kansas Probate Code governs how Kansas estates are distributed after the owner’s death. This process will be different depending on the size of the decedent's estate and whether he died with or without a will. Proper estate planning before your death can help make the probate process easier for the people you leave behind.

The Kansas Probate Code governs how Kansas estates are distributed after the owner’s death. This process will be different depending on the size of the decedent's estate and whether he died with or without a will. Proper estate planning before your death can help make the probate process easier for the people you leave behind.

Wills

Kansas allows any adult of sound mind to make a will to describe how he wishes to have his property distributed after his death. To be effective, your will must follow Kansas requirements, such as having two qualified witnesses present during the signing of the will. You can also change or revoke your will at any time prior to death. Since your will must be formally submitted to the probate court within six months after your death, it is important to let others know where you store your will.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan

Intestate Succession

If you die without a valid will, Kansas law provides a method called intestate succession to distribute your property among your relatives. For example, if you die while married but have no children, your entire estate will pass to your spouse. If you die with a spouse and a child, half of your estate will go to your spouse and the other half to your child.

Executor/Administrator

In Kansas, if you have a will, the person who administers your estate is called an executor; if you don’t have a will, this person is known as an administrator. Your executor or administrator will be charged with many tasks to close and distribute your estate, including notifying your heirs and creditors about the probate proceedings, paying your taxes and other debts out of your estate’s assets, and properly distributing the estate.

Non-Residents

If you are not a resident of Kansas but have property located in the state, a Kansas court will exercise probate jurisdiction over that property when you die. This means your executor or administrator will have to follow Kansas probate procedures to distribute the parts of your estate located in Kansas. For example, if you own a vacation property in Kansas but live in Missouri, both states will have some control over your estate since they each have jurisdiction over the property located within their boundaries. However, you do not have to have a will for each state since Kansas will honor a will created in another state as long as it complies with the other state’s laws, is in writing and signed.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan
Kansas Unborn Child Estate Rights

References

Related articles

How to Make a Last Will & Testament in Washington

A last will is a legal document that shows how you, the testator, want to distribute your property after your death. A will written in Washington state must follow Washington law. If the procedures are not followed, the will may be invalidated after your death.

The Pros & Cons of Making a Will

A will is a written legal document that describes how you would like to distribute your property after you die. However, there are both pros and cons to making a will and whether drafting a will is beneficial to you may depend on your particular circumstances. In addition, there are other estate planning tools that you can use to handle your property following your death, such as creating a living trust. If you do not have a will or other estate planning document in place upon death, your property will be distributed according to your state’s rules.

How to Honor a Legal Will

The process of honoring a will is defined by the probate code of the state where the decedent lived. Each state drafts its own probate code, so standards may vary. However most state laws regarding wills are based on the Uniform Probate Code. Therefore, the UPC provides a good framework for discussing how to honor a legal will in general. If you are trying to honor a legal will, check the probate code of the appropriate state to ensure you are complying with the correct standards.

LegalZoom. Legal help is here. Start Here. Wills. Trusts. Attorney help.

Related articles

Define Probate Law

Probate laws, which vary by state, govern the process used to distribute your assets when you die. Whether or not you ...

How to Make Your Own Will Forms

A will is a document that tells a probate court how to distribute the assets of the person who wrote the will -- known ...

Transfer of Property After Dying Without a Will in Washington State

A will is your opportunity to leave final instructions for your loved ones, and it can address issues like guardianship ...

Who Enforces the Execution of a Will?

In drafting your will, you may appoint a person to serve as your executor, also known as a personal representative. ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED