Understanding Kansas Probate and Trust Administration
Many people become involved with the probate of an estate or trust administration at some time during their lives. Involvement may result from being named the executor of an estate, the trustee of a trust, or being named a beneficiary of heir of an estate. Regardless of the reason, a basic understanding of the probate or trust administration process is essential.
What is the Probate Process in Kansas?
When a loved one dies, and property is owned in their name without any other joint owner or death beneficiary designated, the family may need to distribute the assets in probate court to ensure that all actions are carried out according to the terms outlined in the will.
Probate is a court-supervised process to distribute your assets to beneficiaries after death. Any assets owned in your name or made payable to your estate will go through probate.
You Can Avoid Probate in Kansas with Proper Planning
It’s vital to ensure that your asset ownership aligns with your estate planning goals to avoid probate. If you own assets in the name of your trust or other contracts (life insurance, annuity, retirement account) or as joint tenants with the right of survivorship, those assets will bypass the Kansas probate process. Why do you want to avoid probate?
- A lack of privacy – probate cases are filed in court, and your estate and the value of your assets will become public record.
- Lack of control – If you die without an estate plan, your assets will be distributed according to Kansas state laws.
- Family disagreements – Avoiding probate should be a top priority for people with complicated family dynamics, unpopular second marriages, or estranged loved ones who may challenge a will.
- Time-consuming – Like most things in the court system, probate can be time-consuming, taking several months to a year.
- Costly court process – Since the probate process requires court appearances and extensive paperwork, the legal fees can mount up quickly.
Generally, you can avoid most probate matters and will contests through proper Life Care Planning in Kansas. At Larson and Brown, our Wichita, KS, lawyers will work closely with you to develop a plan for your family’s future. However, sometimes probate is unavoidable, such as when a loved one dies without a will. When this occurs, we will guide families through the process and work to make the estate administration go as smoothly as possible.
We Can Handle All of Your Kansas Trust Administration Needs
Our trust attorneys can help you with all aspects of probate and trust administration. In addition to helping you with the distribution of assets outlined in a will, we can help you administer any type of trust, including living trusts in Kansas. You can rely on us to ensure that an estate will pass through probate according to the law and the final wishes of a loved one.
Larson & Brown, PA is here to help you and your loved ones understand Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Administration, Medicaid Planning, Veterans Planning, and Farm and Ranch Planning. Our Wichita, Kansas law firm welcomes the opportunity to consult with clients in Wichita and surrounding Kansas areas to learn more about how we can help meet your probate and trust administration needs.