Things to keep in mind while making a Will in Kansas

A last Will and testament can safeguard your loved ones and your assets. You can use it to designate beneficiaries for your property, name a personal guardian to look after your minor children, name a trustworthy individual to handle any property you leave to minor children, and name an executor, who will be responsible for seeing that your Will's instructions are followed.

What will happen if you die without a Will?

If you pass away in Kansas without leaving a Will, the "intestacy" rules of the state will determine how your assets are divided. According to Kansas's intestacy laws, your spouse and children come first when it comes to receiving your property.

According to Kansas law, if a couple has been married for more than ten years, the deceased's spouse receives half of the estate, while any children receive the other half. One option to change this allocation is through a Will. Your grandchildren or parents will inherit your property if you are divorced or have no children.

Up to the sixth degree of relation, this list of progressively more distant relatives includes siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews. The state will take your property if the court doesn’t find any living relatives via blood or marriage.

Reasons for having a Will

A Will and judicial monitoring may be able to limit conflict in families where the distribution of personal property cannot be done without conflict. Consider drafting a Will if there are children to whom you don’t want to leave anything or if your children want more than what they’d receive after your death in the absence of a Will, according to Kansas law. You should also draft a Will if you want to leave your spouse everything in case your home is not in joint tenancy with rights of survivorship.

Do you need a lawyer to draft a Kansas Will?

You can draft a Kansas “last Will and testament” by yourself. You’ll find several websites online that will have free “last Will and testament” forms. With a quick google search, you'll get a list of these websites. However, you would be better off with legal counsel if you have a complicated estate.

Writing the Will yourself, then having a “last Will and testament” lawyer in Kansas examine it and offer suggestions, is an approach that will ensure that it is properly written while also keeping the cost to a minimum.

If not, you risk going through the trouble of making a Will only to have your beneficiaries discover after your death that it is invalid.

According to Kansas law on “last Will and testament,” what are the requirements for a Will to be valid?

You must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind in Kansas to create a Will. In Kansas, the property you own at the time of your death and any property acquired by your estate after your passing are both impacted by your Will. Your Will must be written down in real copy; it must be on actual paper, in other words.

It cannot be contained in digital audio, video, or any other medium. Wills that are holographic or written by hand are invalid in Kansas.

Nuncupative Wills, on the other hand, are permitted if they are made during your last illness, someone saw it, and your remarks were written down and witnessed by two persons.

How do you finalize your Kansas Will?

In order to complete your last Will and testament in Kansas, you must sign it or acknowledge it in front of two witnesses, who must also sign it. At the end of the Will, you must sign, and you must sign or recognize your Will in front of your witnesses.

It is ideal to have only "disinterested" witnesses, i.e., those who will not inherit anything from you. Suppose a person who will inherit something witnesses and signs your Will. In that case, they can lose the gifts you leave behind for them in that Will, according to Kansas's last Will and testament laws.

Does a Will need to be notarized in Kansas for it to be valid?

A notarized Will is not required in Kansas to be valid. However, Kansas permits you to make your Will "self-proving," and if you want to do so, you'll need to visit a notary. A self-proving Will expedites the probate process because the court can accept it without speaking to the signatories' witnesses.

You and your witnesses will need to visit the notary and sign an affidavit that will verify your identities and that you all understood that you were signing the Will in order to make your Will self-proving.

Can you name an executor in your Will?

Yes. In Kansas, you can designate an executor in your Will who will make sure the instructions in your Will are followed after your passing. If you don't designate an executor, someone will be chosen by the probate court to handle the task of closing out your estate.

Can you make any changes to or, if need be, revoke your Will in Kansas?

It takes time to plan an estate. Every year, even if simply to confirm them, people should at least review the provisions of their Will. However, some life circumstances push people to make changes to their Will. They are as follows:

  • If you’ve gone through a divorce after drafting a Will, you might want to make a new one.
  • Marriage or remarriage are significant life events. If you’ve had a Will prior to these events, you might want to make changes to the existing Will or draft a new one.
  • Having children, stepchildren, or grandchildren might warrant changes to an existing Will or the drafting of a new one.
  • You might want to edit your Will if you receive a lot of property after drafting it.
  • You might want to update your Will if you move from a state where marital property is considered community property to one where it is considered common law property, or vice versa.

You can make any changes to your Will or revoke it at any time in Kansas.

To revoke a Kansas Will, you can do any of the following:

  1. You can destroy the physical copy of your Will by tearing or burning it or by any other method with the motive of revoking it.
  2. You can ask someone to destroy your Will in front of you.
  3. You can make a new Will that declares that you’re revoking your previous Will.

Your Will is immediately canceled if you marry, have a kid, or adopt after making one. Kansas law revokes any wording in your Will that names your spouse as your executor or any wording that says you’re leaving property to them in the event that you and your spouse divorce or a judge rules that your marriage is invalid.

Consult an estate planning professional for assistance if you are worried about how divorce will affect your Will. It's preferable to revoke your Will and create a new one if you need to make modifications to it.

However, you could write an amendment to your current Will, known as a codicil, if you just need to make very minor modifications. In either scenario, you must finalize your amendments using the same procedures you used to create your original Will.

How probate works in Kansas

Probate is the legal process your estate must go through following your death. A court will begin the process of dividing your estate among the right heirs during this judicial case. Probate will always be more straightforward if you have a Will or a Living Trust that expresses your preferences explicitly.

Having your Beneficiaries and an Executor listed in these documents is most helpful. The person in charge of managing your ultimate wishes is known as an Executor. Creating an estate plan is wise, and making a Will or Living Trust helps your loved ones cope with a traumatic life event.

It's crucial to realize that even while your Will still needs to go through probate, doing so is considerably easier when you have thought of it well in advance.

Can you avoid probate in Kansas?

You can indeed avoid going through probate in Kansas. A living trust eliminates any need for probate by immediately transferring the assets of an estate to the beneficiary. The asset automatically passes to the surviving owners without going through probate if it is listed with many owners, known as joint tenants. If the asset has a beneficiary specified, they will get it once they give the institution holding the asset a death certificate.

The only assets excluded from probate are those held in the trust. Other assets not included in the trust that belonged to the deceased person may need to go through probate before being transferred.

How long will it take for a probate process to complete in Kansas?

In Kansas, the length of the probate process might range from a few months to more than a year. Probate might take a long time if the Will is disputed or if there are other problems with the estate. The least amount of time that can be required is four months. That is the minimum amount of time creditors have to file a claim with the estate.

According to Kansas probate law, how much time does your family have to file probate after your death?

Within six months of a person's passing, a Will must be submitted to the court for review. If not, it might be regarded as invalid. The filing of probate typically occurs concurrently.

A lawyer should be consulted soon after the death to discuss the situation with the deceased's loved ones. In general, if the surviving spouse shares a home with the deceased, they should initiate contact. Otherwise, it is best if the client's nearest family members contact the attorney.

The attorney will provide guidance, determine whether probate proceedings are required, and outline the procedures. In a time of loss and trauma, it could be tough for family members or close friends to handle the complex, time-consuming work of attending to the specifics of a probate proceeding.

A lawyer has the technical skills to manage the required legal processes with ease and reduce the load of people who are grieving.

What happens to your debt in Kansas after you die?

Similar to assets, debts are considered part of a person's estate. All outstanding obligations must be paid from the deceased person's estate after death. The asset side of the estate provides the funds needed to pay off debts. In terms of who is in charge of seeing that the estate's debts are paid, an executor often fulfills this role.

Creditors who could have a claim against the estate must be notified by the executors. State regulations then give creditors a specific window of time to file a financial claim against the estate's assets for the repayment of debts. The assets of the estate will not be used to settle debts if a creditor fails to submit a claim in accordance with state regulations.

However, if the creditors are dishonest, they can attempt to collect the debt by going after the deceased person's spouse, children, or other family members.

Not every asset in an estate can be used to settle a deceased person's debts. Any assets that already have a stated beneficiary, such as 401(k), a life insurance policy, an annuity, a payable-on-death account, or an individual retirement account, would be immediately transferred to that beneficiary.

However, you should know that if you leave too much debt behind that will need to be paid from your estate, then your beneficiaries might receive only a small portion of what you intended for them to receive after your death.

Thus it is recommended that you do away with all your debts during your lifetime. If you’re already neck deep in debt, you can take advantage of debt settlement to do away with them.

Debt settlement as a way out of debt

Debt settlement entails paying off a sizable percentage of your debt in exchange for partial creditor forgiveness. Once an account holder's balance is several months past due, creditors normally negotiate a lower settlement to save time and money. You can pay a smaller amount than the balances still owed by using debt settlement.

If your credit score is low, debt settlement can be an excellent choice for you. This sort of debt relief may be a helpful option for you if you have assets, such as stocks, that you may sell to pay off your debts. You can choose to negotiate with your creditors by yourself, but it is best to seek the help of a lawyer in his regard.

Debt settlement is only one of the services provided by these attorneys. They aid in protecting debtors from unfair and illegal debt collection methods since they are knowledgeable on the ins and outs of debt collection laws. They can also represent you if a creditor or debt collector files a lawsuit against you.

Additionally, a debt settlement lawyer can help you explore all of your choices for getting rid of heavy debt. They could suggest other options to settle, like declaring bankruptcy. Thus, you should hire an attorney when contemplating debt settlement.

Conclusion

Even though it is feasible to create a Will on your own that is legally enforceable, having an attorney do a careful review can assist in guaranteeing the document will be upheld in court. Each state has tight laws regarding probate, and those laws are constantly changing.

This means that you must use a template that is current and complies with your state's regulations. It's likely that if you utilize an out-of-date template, your Will won't be enforceable.

Updated on:

Was this page helpful?

  • expertise badge
  • This site is verified as a Trusted Site by Best of the Web
  • TrustLink logoTrustLink logo
  • Customer ratings on BBB
  • IAPDA logo
  • Calchamber Member
  • Calbar Registered
  • D&B
  • Godaddy
  • yelp logo