TN 16 (12-14)
GN 02315.054 Kansas Small Estates
A. Policy for Kansas letters of administration
Kansas Statutes Annotated § 59-2287 provides for refusal of letters of administration in certain small estates. This procedure is available to:
a surviving spouse or surviving minor children if the value of real or personal property owned by the decedent is not greater in amount than is allowed by law as exempt property and the statutory allowance to the surviving spouse and minor children under KAN. STAT. ANN. § 59-403. More specifically, effective July 1, 2008, KAN. STAT. ANN. § 59-403 allows to the surviving spouse and minor children certain property (including items such as clothing, furniture and household goods, and one car) and a reasonable allowance of not more than $50,000.00; or
if there is no surviving spouse or minor children, or if the statutory allowances to the surviving spouse or minor children pursuant to KAN. STAT. ANN. § 59-403 do not apply or are waived, and the real and personal property in the estate does not exceed $50,000.00, then this procedure is available to any heir, devisee, legatee, creditor, or other interested person. To receive refusal letters, creditors or heirs of the estate must post bond in the sum of not less than the value of the estate and obligate themselves to pay, so far as the assets of the estate will permit, the debts of the decedent in order of their preference and to pay the balance, if any, to the persons entitled to the property by law.
KAN. STAT. ANN. § 59-2287(a)(2014). If the court is satisfied that no estate will be left after allowing to the surviving spouse or minor children their exempt property and statutory allowances, or that the real and personal estates does not exceed $50,000.00 when the petition is filed by a creditor or heir, the court may order that no letters of administration shall be issued on the estate, unless, upon the petition of other creditors, heirs, or interested parties, the existence of other or further property is shown. KAN. STAT. ANN. § 59-2287(b).
B. Policy for Kansas summary administration
Kansas Statutes Annotated § 59-1507 deals with small estates which have executors or administrators but which, because of their size, may be summarily administered upon court order. There is no dollar maximum on these estates, but they must not exceed in value the amount of the homestead and statutory allowances to the spouse and minor children plus certain specified debts and expenses.
Under this statute, an administrator or executor is a legal representative. After the administration is closed, payment to one designated by the court as decedent's heir, legatee, or devisee may result in good acquittance, but the regional attorney's opinion should be obtained in those cases.
C. Policy for payment based on affidavit
Effective July 1, 2000, under Kansas Statutes Annotated § 59-1507a, SSA may obtain good acquittance if benefits due a decedent not in excess of $5,000 are paid, based on an affidavit, to:
the surviving spouse,
one or more of the deceased's children, or descendants of the deceased’s deceased children,
the deceased's father or mother, or
the deceased's brother or sister.
We will give preference in the order named, if more than one request for payment was made by (or for) the above individuals.
The affiant must file the affidavit with SSA not less than 180 days after the deceased's death. The affidavit will show:
date of death of the deceased,
the relationship of the affiant to the deceased,
that no executor or administrator for the deceased has qualified or been appointed, and
that, to the affiant's knowledge, there exists at the time of the filing of such affidavit no relative of a closer degree of kindred to the deceased than the affiant.
SSA only needs to establish the decedent's date of death and the affiant’s relationship to the deceased.