There are three procedures for submitting a Kansas Will and Testament to probate depending on the size of the estate and other factors. Find out the details of each probate process and how it affects you.
Is probate necessary?
Yes. A Kansas Will must be admitted to probate in order to validly pass real or personal property to the beneficiaries, unless the court allows Informal Administration or a Simplified Estate. 59-616
A petition for probate of a Kansas Last Will and Testament must be filed within six (6) months of the testator’s death. 59-617
- Any person interested in the estate may petition for informal administration under the Informal Administration Act. 59-3302
- Different notice requirements apply, depending on whether the proceedings are intended to transfer real estate or not. 59-3303
- If the court determines that the estate can be completely administered under the this act, then it must:
- Order informal administration of the estate; and
- Order all estate assets to be assigned (after payment of family allowance, debts and expenses) to the beneficiaries under the testator’s Kansas Will 59-3304. The district court may also require an appraisal of the property before making this order. 59-3306
- the district court may determine that informal administration is not appropriate due to contested matters, the need for administration, disagreement among beneficiaries or any other appropriate circumstances. 59-3305
- If asked, a court may allow the estate to be administered under the Simplified Estates Act, considering a number of actors such as the size of the estate, its nature and solvency and the degree of kinship and wishes of the heirs and devisees. 59-3202
- Once appointed under this Act the executor or administrator must:
- Collect the deceased’s assets;
- File an inventory and valuation
- Pay claims of creditors.
- The personal representative may also sell, liquidate or exchange personal property without court supervision. 59-3204
- The benefit of simplified procedure is the executor or administrator can carry out his/her duties unsupervised by the court. 59-3205
Probate Procedure other than Informal or Simplified Estates
- If the Will cannot be found or has been destroyed or if the court rejects simplified or informal proceedings, then probate proceedings must be commenced.
- In order to commence a probate proceeding, any person interested in the estate (59-2221) must file a petition with the district court. The court will then set a time and place for the hearing. The court may also appoint a ‘proposed’ personal representative in order to conserve the estate until the hearing. 59-2204
- If the spouse has signed a consent to the Kansas Last Will, this should be attached to the petition. 59-2220
- Notice of the hearing must be given pursuant to 59-2209, unless the court orders otherwise.
- Once the Last Will and Testament is admitted to probate, the Court appoints an executor or administrator with the Kansas Will annexed 59-2227. The letters do not issue until the oath and bond (if required) are filed.
Person with possession of the Last Will & Testament
The person who has the testator’s Kansas Will in their possession, must file the Will with the appropriate district court within six months after the death. Otherwise, he/she may be liable for the reasonable attorney fees, costs and all damages sustained by beneficiaries under the Will. 59-618