Kansas Last Will and Testament Form
The modern course of life teaches us to keep everything under control. Moreover, thanks to legal documents, we can do this not only during life but even after death. Of course, we are talking about Last Will and Testament Form.
In Kansas, any sane person over the age of 18 (or earlier if they are emancipated) can draw up such a document. Below we will tell you why it is essential to do this, what you can include in the document and how best to format it.
Why Do You Need This Form
It was once believed that this document was the prerogative of rich people with many descendants. They divide their property between ex-wives, numerous children, relatives, and even servants. Anyway, that's how they showed it to us in soap operas.
Any resident of Kansas can make up the last will, and it is not necessary to be wealthy. We all want to take care of our loved ones and be sure that they will receive what they are entitled to after our death. This document provides this opportunity.
With it, one can:
- Distribute property and assets
- Create a trust for children or spouse
- Create a pet trust to ensure that they receive proper care
- Make a charitable gift
- Nominate a legal guardian of children
Without this document, the distribution of property will be handled by the court following state law. This distribution does not always coincide with the desires of the deceased. Therefore, if you want to be sure that everything will happen according to your will, you need to draw up this form. This document is another opportunity to show concern for your loved ones.
How Should a Form Be Created?
For the last will to pass the check in probate court, it must be correctly drawn up. There are some legal requirements for this:
- The testator must be at least 18 years of age (or be emancipated if younger)
- The testator must compose the document of its own free will and be of sound mind at the time of writing the document
- The document can be drawn up both in writing and orally (below, we will explain)
- The document must be signed by a testator and two witnesses (not beneficiaries)
- Any person can act as a beneficiary if they are not acting as witnesses of the document
- The document must be notarized
Under certain circumstances, an oral testament (so-called nuncupative) can be recognized. Such a statement can only concern personal property and be drawn up with the last sickness of the testator. At the same time, the oral last will still have to be supported by a written document. Such a paper must be signed by two witnesses who are not the beneficiaries of this document. And it is important to comply with the deadline for drawing up, and there are 30 days to back up the oral statement in writing.
Probation of the Last Will
Once you have made your will, it should be kept in a safe but easily accessible place. Ideally, hand it over to your attorney, who will issue your will upon your death.
Nevertheless, before the conditions of the will are accepted and written, one more step must be passed — the probation of the document. The paper must be proven in probate court. In Cheyenne County, one should contact a local Courthouse to do this.
By the way, it is important to note that during the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Cheyenne County Courthouse began to practice virtual courtrooms through WebEx. In this way, they continue to provide services to the public without endangering employees and citizens.
After probation, the executor takes up their duties — pays debts, taxes, and distributes the property according to the wishes of the deceased.
Kansas law gives six months after the testator’s death to file the last will.
By the way, based on some factors, one can pretend to be a simplified probate process. Such factors can be:
- Kinship of heirs
- Nature and size of the estate
- Desires of the heirs
- Cost of the estate and its administration
- Other matters
What Property Can Be Distributed?
You can include different types of property in your document:
- Real estate
- Bank accounts
- Shares in firms
- Cash savings
- Luxury and art objects
- Cars and other vehicles
- Joint property with inheritance rights
- Life insurance (one can’t change the beneficiary)
Finally, it is important to note that under the laws of Kansas, the living spouse of the deceased claims a percentage of the augmented estate. The percentage is established by law depending on the duration of the marriage.
What Will Happen If You Don't Make a Will?
According to the laws of Kansas, if the deceased did not leave a will, their property will be distributed among the next of kin. Usually, these are the spouse of the deceased and children. In their absence, the court will be forced to find other relatives — parents, siblings, grandparents, and so on.
Of course, even in the absence of a document, your property will remain with the family. But this does not mean that the separation will be done the way you would. And even more so, the court is unlikely to create a trust for your beloved dog or cat.
Creating a last will is a way to control the fate of your property after death and take care of your loved ones.
Making Changes to the Document
Changes to a will are not such a rare story. Our life is changing, the relationship between people does so too. Someone can become closer to you, and someone can move away. Therefore, the law provides for making changes in a will up to your death.
The process of making changes is identical to drafting a document. All legal requirements are the same. You draw up an addendum to the document and indicate in it any necessary changes.
Cancel the Document
Sometimes, making changes may not be enough, and then it is easier to undo the whole document. This can be done in several ways:
Create a new document overriding the previous one
Create some other writing revocation testament (legal requirements are the same)
To Sum Up
Our life is unpredictable, and we all think we have a lot of time left. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and we cannot predict the events of our lives. This is why making a will is a deliberately healthy step for all people. This is especially true for those who have children, spouses, and other close people (or even pets) that they want and need to take care of. This is another way to show them love and attention. Be sure that even after your death, you will be able to give them what they need.
It is not difficult to create such a document, and the main thing is to follow all the formalities and be extremely clear. Make sure the last will is kept by your trustee or attorney and give them instructions to release the document.