Many Kansas residents may have heard of probate, particularly if a loved one of theirs has passed away. When a resident of Kansas passes away, all of their property except that which is owned in joint tenancy or that which is distributed to a beneficiary may go through the probate process. In this process, the court will be able to ascertain whether there is a valid will that dictates to whom this property will pass on.
In addition, an administrator of the estate will be appointed through probate. This can be a third party such as a trust company or bank, or it could be a child 18-years-old or older or a surviving spouse.
In the probate process, the deceased’s property will be collected, so that the entirety of the estate can be accounted for. This way, the deceased’s assets can be converted to cash if necessary in order to pay creditors, taxes or to be distributed to the deceased’s heirs. This brings up another important point of probate — to ascertain which parties have a right to a portion of the deceased’s estate.
Probate also provides a means in which real estate and other tangible items can be legally transferred to new owners. If there is a business, probate can provide a way to ensure it continues to operate while being transferred.
Finally, the probate court can protect the person who is in charge of distributing the deceased’s assets and taking care of the deceased’s other final affairs. As this shows, probate is important. Those with further questions about trust and probate administration should seek the professional advice they need to understand the probate process and their role in it.
Source: Kansas Bar Association, “Why is probate necessary?,” Accessed May 4, 2015