When a person dies, there must be a way to determine how their estate is going to be distributed. Things will need to be disposed of, and property and money will need to be transferred to heirs. In each state in the United States, there are probate laws that govern how estates are distributed. In Kansas, the probate code applies any time someone dies and owned property at the time of their death. The laws determine ahead of time who will receive which items in one of two ways. If the person has a will, they have chosen who is to receive items from the estate. If there is no will, the estate goes into intestate, and the laws of intestate succession determine how the property gets distributed.
Wichita probate law states that if a person dies and has no children, the surviving spouse is entitled to receive the entire estate. If there are children, the spouse receives half of the estate, and the other half is split among the children equally. The best way to avoid intestate succession is to make sure that a will is created. Anyone who is at least 18 years old, and is of sound mind, can legally have a will created that will protect their assets and ensure that they get distributed as per the deceased’s wishes. Wills must be hand-written, and signed by those who are making them. This person is known as the testator. The will must also be signed by two or more witnesses in order to be valid.
Kansas allows for oral wills, something that is not allowed in many other states. These are also known as nuncapative wills, but they can only be used under certain circumstances. A testator must be in the final stages of an illness, and there must be two competent witnesses present. This type of will is only for the distribution of personal property, and one of the witnesses must put it in writing within 30 days. To learn more about wills and probate laws, contact The Law Offices of Todd Allison and Sarah Newell.
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