Wills and Estates – Small Estates – Kansas
Small Estates General Summary: Small Estate laws were enacted in order to enable heirs to obtain property of the deceased without probate, or with shortened probate proceedings, provided certain conditions are met. Small estates can be administered with less time and cost. If the deceased had conveyed most property to a trust but there remains some property, small estate laws may also be available. Small Estate procedures may generally be used regardless of whether there was a Will. In general, the two forms of small estate procedures are recognized:
1. Small Estate Affidavit -Some States allow an affidavit to be executed by the spouse and/or heirs of the deceased and present the affidavit to the holder of property such as a bank to obtain property of the deceased. Other states require that the affidavit be filed with the Court. The main requirement before you may use an affidavit is that the value of the personal and/or real property of the estate not exceed a certain value.
2. Summary Administration -Some states allow a Summary administration. Some States recognize both the Small Estate affidavit and Summary Administration, basing the requirement of which one to use on the value of the estate. Example: If the estate value is 10,000 or less an affidavit is allowed but if the value is between 10,000 to 40,000 a summary administration is allowed.
Under Kansas statute, where as estate is valued at less than $40,000, an interested party may issue a small estate affidavit to collect any debts owed to the decedent.
Kansas requirements are set forth in the statutes below.
Chapter 59.–PROBATE CODE
Article 15.–ACCOUNTING AND DISTRIBUTION
59-1507. Summary proceedings.
Whenever it is established that the estate of a decedent, exclusive of the homestead and allowances to the spouse and minor children, does not exceed the amounts required for funeral expenses, expenses of last sickness, wages of servants during the last sickness, costs of administration, debts having preference under the laws of the United States or this state, and taxes, the executor or administrator may by order of the court pay the same in the order named, and present his or her account with an application for the settlement and allowance thereof. Thereupon the court with or without notice, may adjust, correct, settle, allow or disallow such account, and if the account is allowed, summarily determine the heirs, legatees, and devisees, and close the administration.
59-1507a. Payment of certain benefits to certain relatives; discharge and release; affidavit.
(a) If not less than 180 days after the death of an individual entitled at the time of death to a monthly benefit or benefits under title II of the social security act or under any veterans administration program or public or private retirement or annuity plan, all or part of the amount of such benefit or benefits, not in excess of $5,000, is paid to (1) the surviving spouse, (2) one or more of the deceased’s children, or descendants of the deceased’s deceased children, (3) the deceased’s father or mother, or (4) the deceased’s brother or sister, preference being given in the order named if more than one request for payment has been made by or for the named individuals, such payment shall be deemed to be a payment to the personal representative of the decedent and shall constitute a full discharge and release from any further claim for such payment to the same extent as if such payment had been made to an executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate.
(b) The provisions of subsection (a) shall apply only if an affidavit has been made and filed with the appropriate governmental office or private company responsible for the benefit by the surviving spouse or other relative by whom or on whose behalf request for payment is made and such affidavit shows (1) the date of death of the deceased, (2) the relationship of the affiant to the deceased, (3) that no executor or administrator for the deceased has qualified or been appointed, and (4) that, to the affiant’s knowledge, there exists at the time of the filing of such affidavit, no relative of a closer degree of kindred to the deceased than the affiant.
59-1507b. Transfer of certain personal property to successor, discharge and release, affidavit.
When a resident of the state dies, whether testate or intestate, if the total assets of the estate of the decedent subject to probate do not exceed $40,000 in value, any personal property of whatever nature transferable to the decedent’s estate by any entity or person shall be transferred to the successor or successors of the decedent, if entitled thereto by will or by intestate succession, without having been granted letters of administration or letters testamentary, upon such successor’s or successors’ furnishing the entity or person with an affidavit showing entitlement thereto. Transfer of such personal property to the successor or successors shall be deemed to be a transfer to the personal representative of the decedent, and the receipt of the successor or successors shall constitute a full discharge and release from any further claim for such transfer to the same extent as if the transfer had been made to an executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate. The affidavit required herein shall be deemed sufficient if in substantial compliance with the form set forth by the judicial council.
The affidavit required herein shall be deemed sufficient if in substantial compliance with the form set forth by the judicial council.