If you die without a valid will while residing in the State of Kansas, you are said to have died "intestate." In order to determine who will receive your property if you die intestate, the State of Kansas has established a number of laws (known as "intestacy laws" or "laws of intestate succession.") The primary statutes comprising these intestacy laws, or laws of intestate succession, are set forth below. For a more complete list, see Kansas Intestacy Laws | Intestate Succession statutes.
As used in K.S.A. 59-502 through 59-514, inclusive:
(a) "Children" means biological children, including a posthumous child; children adopted as provided by law; and children whose parentage is or has been determined under the Kansas parentage act or prior law.
(b) "Issue" includes adopted children of deceased children or issue.
Subject to any homestead rights, the allowances provided in K.S.A.59-403, and the payment of reasonable funeral expenses,expenses of last sickness and costs of administration, taxes, and debts, the property of a resident decedent, who dies intestate, shall at the time of death pass by intestate succession as provided in this article.
If the decedent leaves a spouse and no children nor issue of a previously deceased child, all the decedent's property shall pass to the surviving spouse. If the decedent leaves a spouse and a child, or children, or issue of a previously deceased child or children, one-half of such property shall pass to the surviving spouse.
Except as provided further, the surviving spouse shall be entitled to receive one-half of all real estate of which the decedent at any time during the marriage was seized or possessed and to the disposition whereof the survivor shall not have consented in writing, or by a will, or by an election as provided by law to take under a will, except such real estate as has been sold on execution or judicial sale, or taken by other legal proceeding. The surviving spouse shall not be entitled to any interest under the provisions of this section in any real estate of which such decedent in such decedent's lifetime made a conveyance, when such spouse at the time of the conveyance was not a resident of this state and never had been during the existence of the marriage relation. The spouse's entitlement under this section shall be included as part of the surviving spouse's property under K.S.A. 59-6a207, and amendments thereto.
If the decedent leaves a child, or children, or issue of a previously deceased child or children, and no spouse, all his or her property shall pass to the surviving child, or in equal shares to the surviving children and the living issue, if any, of a previously deceased child, but such issue shall collectively take only the share their parent would have taken had such parent been living. If the decedent leaves such child, children, or issue, and a spouse, one-half of such property shall pass to such child, children, and issue as aforesaid.
If the decedent leaves no surviving spouse, child, or issue, but leaves a surviving parent or surviving parents, all of his or her property shall pass to such surviving parent, or in equal shares to such surviving parents, but if the decedent is an adopted child such property shall pass to his or her adoptive parent or parents in like manner including a natural parent who is the spouse of an adoptive parent.
If the decedent leaves no surviving spouse, child, issue, or parents, the respective shares of his or her property which would have passed to the parents, had both of them been living, shall pass to the heirs of such parents respectively (excluding their respective spouses), the same as it would have passed had such parents owned it in equal shares and died intestate at the time of his or her death; but if either of said parents left no such heirs, then and in that event his or her property shall pass to the living heirs of the other parent.
In computing degrees of relationship by blood for the purpose of the passing of property of an intestate decedent, each generation in the ascending or descending line shall be counted as one degree. None of such property shall pass except by lineal descent to a person further removed from the decedent than the sixth degree, as so computed. In all cases of intestate succession the right of a living person to have the property, or a share of it, pass to him or her, shall be determined as here provided, but the property shall pass immediately from the decedent to the person entitled to receive it.
There are additional statutes pertaining to the distribution of intestate property in the State of Kansas. To view those statutes, please click here.
[Reference - Kansas Intestacy laws]