Kansas Estate Planning Considerations

Common-Law State

Kansas is a Common Law State, which means the rules governing the ownership, division, and inheritance of income and property acquired by a husband or wife during their marriage hold that subject to various qualifications, each spouse owns and has complete control over their own her income and property.

Last Will and Testament

Will Creation

The minimum age of a person competent to make a will is 18 except those persons age 16 or older who are (or who have been) married. 

The number of witnesses necessary to execute a will is two.

Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA)

The custodial arrangement terminates when:

  • The minor child reaches age 21 for custodial transfers made by irrevocable lifetime gift, will, trust, or exercise of a power of appointment.
  • The minor child reaches age 18 concerning other custodial transfers.
  • The minor child dies.

Dying without a Last Will, the Kansas laws of Intestacy.

The estate goes to the surviving spouse, as follows:

  • If there are no surviving descendants, —100% of the estate
  • If there are surviving descendants, —50% of the estate
  • The surviving spouse is entitled to receive 50% of all real estate owned by the decedent during the marriage disposed of without the spouse’s consent, with exceptions for dispositions by way of legal proceedings (see KSA §59‐505)

If there is no surviving spouse, or if a portion of the estate does not go to the spouse:

  • 100% (or applicable portion) of the estate goes to surviving children and their descendants—equally if in the same generation, otherwise taking “collectively” the share of a predeceased child (the statute does not define “collectively”)

If there is no surviving spouse or descendant:

  • 100% to surviving parent or parents equally

If there is no surviving spouse, descendant, or parent:

  • 100% of the estate goes to the parents’ heirs (excluding respective spouses), equally, divided between paternal and maternal sides
  • If there are no heirs on one side, then 100% goes to heirs on the other side

If none of the above:

  • 100% to surviving heirs of the decedent’s last spouse dying before the death of the decedent. See KSA §59‐514.
  • If no legally described recipient can be found, estate assets go to the state of Kansas.

Digital Assets

Kansas follows the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act to ensure that testators can retain control of their digital property and plan for its ultimate disposition.


Inheritance Tax

Kansas does not impose an inheritance tax.

Credit Estate Tax

Kansas does not impose an estate tax.

Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax (GST Tax)

Kansas does not impose a GST tax.

Gift Tax

Kansas does not impose a gift tax.

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