Laws of Intestate Succession

If a person dies with probate assets but without a valid Will, the law refers to the necessary probate proceeding as an intestate estate proceeding. One of the first considerations in intestate estates is when to commence the probate proceeding. The factors that help determine to best time to commence a probate include: (1) the debts pending against a decedent’s estate; (2) the need to promptly take charge of assets that might waste or diminish in value if neglected; (3) the interests of the heirs-at-law; and (4) claims and needs of surviving spouses or minor children.

The intestate laws and procedures in Kansas and Missouri are very different, as are the rights and options available to surviving spouses. The process and time frame for dealing with creditor claims are also different. Sometimes careful attention to and strategic planning with the applicable laws and deadlines can lead to dramatically different results.