The state laws of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska indicate that at the time of
an individual's death an inheritance is received and has value to the heir. This is
not dependant on the probating of the will and the completion of probate is not required.
This is also true if the individual died intestate (having made no legal will).
The executor, estate administrator, or personal representative of the estate may take
possession or control of the estate property until the completion of probate at which
time the assets are distributed. Before distribution the heir has equitable ownership
of the inheritance. Equitable ownership exists with out legal title to property and
is discussed in SI 01110.500B.3.b, SI 01110.515A.2.b & C.1. All four states allow an heir to sell, convey, or encumber this equitable
interest in the inheritance for personal gain, even while the property is held in
probate. Therefore, it can be considered a resource for SSI purposes.
If the terms of a will are being contested the inheritance is not considered received
by the person named in the will. Under the laws of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska
if a will is being contested, a person can not sell or convey his possible ownership
interest until such contest is decided by the probate court.
NOTE: A will is not contested merely because a lien holder or creditor files a claim against
All four states allow heirs to disclaim any or all interest in will personal or real
property. The act of disclaiming must be made in writing. To ensure that the disclaimer
has been effected contact the probate court.