Is a handwritten and notorized will legal in Kansas?

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Is a handwritten and notorized will legal in Kansas?

My brother wrote a will and notorized it. It left all personal properties, bank
accounts and annuity funds to his nephew. Is it legal in Kasas?

Asked on May 18, 2017 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The state of KS does not recognize handwritten or "holographic Wills" that are not signed by any witness. This is true even if it is notarized (in fact a having a Will notarized is not even a requirement). In KS, in order to have a valid Will, the "testator" (i.e. the person who is making it)) must: be able to put the Will in writing; be free of undue influence/duress, understand the meaning of the document; and sign it in front of 2 witnesses. Since this Will appears not to comply with state law, it is invalid. This means that your brother died "intestate" (i.e. without a Will) so the intestacy or "succession" laws of KS will control the distribution of his estate. In this case his heirs will be his children and survivng wife, if any. If not, then your parents if they are still alive, or you and your other siblings, if any.


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