What happens to real estate property when one spouse and the other is still living?

If my mom passed away no will does my father who is still living have all rights to their property in the state of Kansas?

Asked on June 1, 2017 under Estate Planning, Kansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

When someone dies without a will, they are said to die "intestate." Every state has its own rules for "intate succession," or who gets what when there is no will. In your state, if your father was married to your mother, he gets 1/2 of everything (see below, though), and her children  get the other 1/2. If he was not married to her when she died, he gets nothing (again, see below) and her children get everything.
No matter what, anything solely his (e.g. anything he had pre-marriage) remains his. And certain jointly owned property, like real estate owned as "joint tenants," a joint bank account, a car titled in both their names, becomes his on her death and is not part of her estate and is not transferred via intestate succession.

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