To create a valid will under Kansas law, the will must be:
- In writing;
- Signed at the end by the person making the will; and
- Attested and subscribed by two witnesses.
The requirements for making a valid will under Kansas law are set forth at K.S.A. 59-606.
Who Can Make A Valid Will Under Kansas Law?
Any person of sound mind, and possessing the rights of majority (18 years of age or older) may make a valid will in Kansas.
To be of sound mind to make a valid will (to have testamentary capacity) under Kansas law, the testator must generally, on the date he or she executes the will:
- Know and understand the nature and extent of the property he is disposing of;
- Have an intelligent understanding concerning the disposition he or she desires to make of the property;
- Realize who his or her relatives are and the natural objects of his or her bounty; and
- Comprehend the nature of the claims of those whom he or she desires to include in and exclude from participation in worldly effects after he or she has no further need for them.
A Kansas Will Must Be Signed At The End
Every Kansas will (except an oral will) must be signed at the end by the testator OR by some other person in the presence and by the express direction of the testator. K.S.A. 59-606.
Whether the testator signs his or her own name or directs another person to sign his or her name, the signing must be done in the presence of two or more competent witnesses. If not, the testator can acknowledge the signing of the will in the presence of the witnesses.
A Kansas Will Must Be Properly Witnessed
A Kansas will must be attested to and subscribed by two competent witnesses in order to be valid. The witnesses must see the testator subscribe the will or hear the testator acknowledge the will. K.S.A. 59-606.
Be mindful of who you choose to witness your Kansas will. Any devise made in the will to a subscribing witness thereto (an interested witness) is void under Kansas law, unless there are two other competent subscribing witnesses who are not beneficiaries thereunder. If the interested witness is also an intestate her of the decedent who would have been entitled to a share of the testator’s estate in the absence of the will, then so much of such share as will not exceed the value of the devise or bequest shall pass to the witness from the part of the estate included in the void devise or bequest. K.S.A. 59-604.
If a witness to a will is competent at the time of his or her attestation, his or her subsequent incompetency shall not prevent the admission of such will to probate. K.S.A. 59-607.
Does a Will Have To Be Notarized In Kansas To Be Valid?
No, there is no requirement under Kansas law that in order to be valid a will must be notarized. A will can be made self-proved at the time of its execution or at any time during the lifetimes of the testator and the witnesses, which requires a notary. Making a will self-proved may make the testimony of the witnesses unnecessary, which makes the process of having the will admitted to probate easier.
To make a will self-proved, the witnesses and testator must acknowledge the will and sign affidavits which can be attached or annexed to the will. A form that should be substantially followed to make a Kansas will self-proved is provided in K.S.A. 59-606.
Working with a Kansas probate lawyer is the best way to make sure that you have created a valid will.