Kansas Last Will and Testament Law

Wills and Estates – Last Will and Testament Law – Kansas

Note:  This information below is not intended to be an all inclusive discussion of the law of wills for Kansas, but does include basic and other provisions. The information below does not include a discussion of hand written wills.

Who may make will: Any person of sound mind, and possessing the rights of majority, may dispose of any or all of his or her property by will. 59-601.

Legislative History: L. 1939, ch. 180, § 37; July 1.

Majority means a person 18 years of age or older, or a person sixteen (16) years of age or over who is or has been married. 38-101.

Legislative History: G.S. 1868, ch. 67, § 1; L. 1917, ch. 184, § 1; L. 1919, ch. 229, § 1; R.S. 1923, 38-101; L. 1965, ch. 274, § 1; L. 1972, ch. 161, § 5; L. 1978, ch. 155, § 1; July 1.

Preparation of will that gives any devise or bequest to preparer: Any provision in a will, written or prepared for another person, that gives the writer or preparer or the writer’s or preparer’s parent, children, issue, sibling or spouse any devise or bequest is invalid unless (a) The writer or preparer is related to the testator by blood, marriage or adoption and the devise or bequest is not more than the writer or preparer or the writer’s or preparer’s parent, children, issue, sibling or spouse would receive under the laws of intestate succession, if the property passed in that manner; or (b) it affirmatively appears that the testator had read or knew the contents of the will and had independent legal advice with reference thereto. As used in this section, “children” and “issue” shall have the same meaning as provided in K.S.A. 59-501, and amendments thereto.

Legislative History: L. 1939, ch. 180, § 41; L. 2002, ch. 135, § 2; L. 2004, ch. 73, § 1; July 1.

Execution: A will shall be in writing and signed by the party making same at the end. HOUSE BILL No. 2154 of 1999. Sec. 59-606.

Legislative History: L. 1939, ch. 180, § 42; L. 1975, ch. 299, § 3; L. 1976, ch. 245, § 2; L. 1990, ch. 199, § 1; L. 1999, ch. 55, § 1; July 1.

Witnesses: A will shall be attested and subscribed in the presence of the party making the will by two or more competent witnesses, who saw the testator subscribe or heard the testator acknowledge the will. HOUSE BILL No. 2154 of 1999. Sec. 59-606.

Self-Proved: A will may be made self-proved by use of an approved self proving affidavit form.  The form you have located contains this self proving affidavit. HOUSE BILL No. 2154 of 1999. Sec. 59-606.

Nuncupative will: An oral will made in the last sickness shall be valid in respect to personal property, if reduced to writing and subscribed by two competent, disinterested witnesses within thirty days after the speaking of the testamentary words, when the testator called upon some person present at the time the testamentary words were spoken to bear testimony to said disposition as his or her will. 59-608

Legislative History: L. 1939, ch. 180, § 44; July 1.

Competency of witness: If a witness to a will is competent at the time of his or her attestation, his or her subsequent incompetency shall not prevent the admission of such will to probate. 59-607

Legislative History: L. 1939, ch. 180, § 43; July 1.

Will executed without state: A will executed without this state in the manner prescribed by this act, or by the law of the place of its execution, or by the law of the testator’s residence either at the time of its execution or of the testator’s death, shall be deemed to be legally executed, and shall have the same force and effect as if executed in compliance with the provisions of this act: Provided, Said will is in writing and subscribed by the testator. 59-609.

Legislative History: L. 1939, ch. 180, § 45; July 1.

Revocation by marriage, birth or adoption; divorce: If after making a will the testator marries and has a child, by birth or adoption, the will is thereby revoked. If after making a will the testator is divorced, all provisions in such will in favor of the testator’s spouse so divorced are thereby revoked. 59-610.

Legislative History: L. 1939, ch. 180, § 46; July 1.

Revocation: A will may be burnt, torn, canceled, obliterated or destroyed, with the intent and for the purpose of revoking the same, by the testator himself or herself or by another person in the testator’s presence by his or her direction.  A will may be revoked by the making of another will or by other writing of the testator declaring such revocation or alteration and executed with the same formalities with which the will itself was required by law to be executed. 59-611.

Legislative History: L. 1939, ch. 180, § 47; July 1.

Revocation of second will not automatically revive first will: If the testator shall make a second will, the revocation of the second will shall not revive the first will, unless it appears by the terms of such revocation that it was the testator’s intention to revive the first will, or unless after such revocation the testator shall duly republish his or her first will in the presence of two or more competent witnesses who shall subscribe the same in the presence of the testator.

Legislative History:   L. 1939, ch. 180, § 48; July 1.

Limitations on probate of written will: No will of a testator who died while a resident of this state shall be effectual to pass property unless a petition is filed for the probate of such will within six months after the death of the testator. 59-617

Legislative History:    L. 1939, ch. 180, § 53; L. 1943, ch. 213, § 1; L. 1972, ch. 215, § 1; L. 1985, ch. 191, § 8; July 1.

Admissibility of a reference in will to statement to dispose of certain tangible personal property: A will may refer to a written statement or list to dispose of items of tangible personal property not otherwise specifically disposed of by the will, other than money, evidences of debt, documents of title, securities, and properties used in trade or business. To be admissible under this section as evidence of intended disposition, the writing either must be in the handwriting of the testator or be signed by the testator, and must describe the items with reasonable certainty. The writing may be referred to as one to be in existence at the time of the testator’s death; it may be prepared before or after the execution of the will; and it may be altered by the testator after its preparation.
59-623

Legislative History:      L. 1975, ch. 299, § 28; Jan. 1, 1976.


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