Probate Shortcuts in Kansas

Save time and money when you wrap up an estate in Kansas.

Updated by , Attorney · George Mason University Law School

The probate process can be long and drawn-out, costing your survivors time as well as money. Fortunately, Kansas offers two probate shortcuts for "small estates." If the property you leave behind at your death is below a certain amount, Kansas allows the property to be transferred more quickly and with less hassle. In other words, if your estate qualifies as "small," your loved ones may be able to use simplified probate procedures, or even skip probate entirely.

Collecting Property With a Small Estate Affidavit

Kansas offers a procedure that allows inheritors to skip probate altogether. To qualify, the estate (the property you own at death) must meet these requirements:

  • The total value of the estate is less than $75,000, and
  • No one has yet been appointed the personal representative of the estate, and no petition for appointment is pending (these are initial steps in the probate process when you open a probate case).

(Kan. Stat. § 59-1507b (2023).)

This procedure can't be used to transfer real estate, though—only personal property (all other types of property besides real estate).

    How to Use Kansas's Small Estate Affidavit

    If your estate meets the requirements listed above, all your inheritor has to do is sign a simple document under oath, called an affidavit. The Small Estates Affidavit must include certain information, such as:

    • statements that the estate fulfills the requirements listed above
    • the names, ages, and addresses of the beneficiaries or heirs who are entitled to property, and
    • descriptions of each item of property being collected and its value.

    After signing the document (and swearing to its truthfulness) and having it notarized, the inheritor simply presents the affidavit to the person or institution holding the property—for example, a bank where the deceased person had an account. The inheritor will also need to provide a certified copy of the death certificate. After that, the person or institution releases the asset. This process skips probate court entirely.

    Simplified Probate in Kansas: "Simplified Administration"

    Even if they don't qualify for one of the probate-skipping procedures discussed above, small estates in Kansas might still be able to use a probate shortcut called "simplified administration" or "simplified probate." With this procedure, you'll still have to go through the probate process, but you will be able to take more steps without court supervision. In other words, probate will be faster, and the costs of probate will be lower.

    The probate court has discretion to decide whether to grant simplified administration in any given case. When making the decision, the court will consider factors such as:

    • The size and nature of the estate
    • How the heirs (those who would receive property under state intestacy laws), inheritors (those who would receive property under a will), and executor or personal representative are related
    • The solvency of the estate (for example, whether the estate owes debts)
    • The wishes of the heirs and inheritors (for example, whether they all agree to simplified administration)
    • The likely cost of probate, and
    • Any other relevant facts.

    (Kan. Stat. § 59-3202 (2023).)

      Getting More Help With Kansas Probate

      For more information on probate in Kansas, also see the following Nolo article:

      Nolo also offers several resources and tools to help with Kansas probate. If you're an executor or personal representative of an estate and tasked with wrapping up a loved one's property, you can consult a probate attorney or the comprehensive book The Executor's Guide, by Mary Randolph (Nolo), for further help.

        On the other hand, if you're interested in actively planning now to minimize probate costs for your loved ones after your death, consider these next steps:

        Get Professional Help
        Talk to a Probate attorney.
        There was a problem with the submission. Please refresh the page and try again
        Full Name is required
        Email is required
        Please enter a valid Email
        Phone Number is required
        Please enter a valid Phone Number
        Zip Code is required
        Please add a valid Zip Code
        Please enter a valid Case Description
        Description is required

        How It Works

        1. Briefly tell us about your case
        2. Provide your contact information
        3. Choose attorneys to contact you