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59-504. Surviving spouse. If the decedent leaves a spouse and no children nor issue of a previously deceased child, all the decedent's property shall pass to the surviving spouse. If the decedent leaves a spouse and a child, or children, or issue of a previously deceased child or children, one-half of such property shall pass to the surviving spouse.

History: L. 1939, ch. 180, ยง 26; July 1.

Source or prior law:

22-118, 22-119, 22-127.

Law Review and Bar Journal References:

Election of spouse to take against a will, 9 K.L.R. 356, 357 (1961).

1963-65 survey of future interests and estate planning, James K. Logan, 14 K.L.R. 293, 299, 304 (1965).

Rights of surviving spouse in trust property, David R. Hederstedt, 13 K.L.R. 145, 146 (1964).

"Inchoate Dower and the Marketable Title," David K. Fromme, 4 W.L.J. 240, 241 (1965).

Cited in discussing wrongful death act, Robert C. Casad, 13 K.L.R. 515, 517 (1965).

1965-69 survey of estate planning and future interests, James K. Logan, 17 K.L.R. 455, 490 (1969).

"Intestate Succession in Kansas," Jay Scott Brown, 8 W.L.J. 284, 285, 289 (1969).

The proposed Uniform Probate Code; the vision of probable desires of the intestate different from that found herein, Camilla Klein Haviland, 19 K.L.R. 575, 576 (1971).

Survival of widow's right of election, Sara Miller, 12 W.L.J. 245, 246 (1973).

Tax aspects of a divorce property settlement, 13 W.L.J. 169, 172 (1974).

"Dispensing with Administration in Small Estates: A Marketable Title Problem," William R. Scott, 42 J.B.A.K. 337, 338 (1973).

Community property in common law jurisdiction, John C. Nodgaard and Harold T. Pickler, 16 W.L.J. 77, 98 (1976).

Property settlements in divorce and proposed amendments to K.S.A. 23-201, Keith (Casey) D. Cohen, 47 J.B.A.K. 275, 281 (1978).

"Torts: 'Heirs at Law' Construed in Kansas Wrongful Death Statute," Pamela R. Hays, 19 W.L.J. 389, 392 (1980).

"When is 'Alimony' Not Alimony Under Kansas Law?" Patrick J. Regan and Philip J. Erbacher, 20 W.L.J. 495, 503 (1981).

"Will Substitutes in Kansas," Jana J. Deines and Michael E. McMahon, 23 W.L.J. 132, 158, 159 (1983).

"Decedents Estates: Revocable Trusts and The Surviving Spouse's Share: How Much Is Enough? [ Newman v. George , 243 Kan. 183, 755 P.2d 18 (1988)]," Gary Patterson, 28 W.L.J. 430, 432 (1989).

"The Capricious Operation of the Kansas Elective Share: Feast or Famine for the Surviving Spouse," John W. Kuether and Willard B. Thompson, 61 J.K.B.A. No. 10, 32, 33 (1992).

"Avoiding Pitfalls in the Preparation of inter vivos Trusts: Lessons from Jarvis v. Jarvis ," Larry G. Michel, 62 J.K.B.A. No. 3, 26, 27 (1993).

CASE ANNOTATIONS

1. Widow not estopped from claiming statutory share by offering will for probate. In re Estate of Garden, 158 K. 554, 564, 148 P.2d 745.

2. Postnuptial agreement held not to deprive surviving spouse of inheritance. In re Estate of Troemper, 160 K. 464, 471, 163 P.2d 379.

3. Cited; cotenant cannot establish homestead right against other cotenants. Cole v. Coons, 162 K. 624, 632, 178 P.2d 997.

4. Antenuptial contract held not waiver of widow's statutory allowance; statutes construed. In re Estate of Place, 166 K. 528, 532, 203 P.2d 132.

5. Decedent's property; administrator has only right of possession during administration. Peterson v. Peterson, 173 K. 636, 639, 251 P.2d 221.

6. Administrator settled wrongful death claim without suit; general release; proceeds distributable under 60-3203. Holmes, Administrator v. Price, 186 K. 623, 624, 352 P.2d 5.

7. Nonresident can inherit one-half of husband's property not conveyed during lifetime; settlor's trust receiving income and power of revocation fraud on widow's rights. Ackers v. First National Bank of Topeka, 192 K. 319, 320, 325, 327, 328, 329, 333, 334, 387 P.2d 840. Rehearing denied: 192 K. 471, 389 P.2d 1.

8. Devise to son for life, remainder to son's heirs; son's wife held heir, entitled to one-half remainder. Jackson v. Lee, 193 K. 40, 43, 50, 392 P.2d 92.

9. Separate maintenance decree did not bar surviving spouse from rights to property acquired by deceased after decree date. In re Estate of Fults, 193 K. 491, 492, 494, 496, 394 P.2d 32.

10. When taking under the law a Kansas widow takes one-half of spouse's estate before imposition of federal estate tax. First National Bank of Topeka, Kan. v. United States, 233 F.Supp. 19, 23, 27, 29.

11. Rights of individual causing death of spouse considered. In re Estate of Pyke, 199 K. 1, 9, 13, 427 P.2d 67.

12. Husband's transfer of property to wife in anticipation of divorce taxable event, rather than property division. Wiles v. C.I.R., 499 F.2d 255, 256.

13. Joint tenancy contractual arrangement governed by contract law; spouse's right to dispose of personal property during lifetime. Eastman, Administrator v. Mendrick, 218 K. 78, 84, 542 P.2d 347.

14. Section applied; widow allowed to elect against will of deceased husband. Linson v. Johnson, Executrix, 1 K.A.2d 155, 161, 563 P.2d 485.

15. Widow of deceased in wrongful death action has exclusive right to bring action by virtue of provisions hereof making wife sole heir. Johnson v. McArthur, 226 K. 128, 132, 134, 596 P.2d 148.

16. In a simultaneous death, estate of wife not entitled to a one-half interest in estate of husband; property of each disposed of as if each had survived the other. Estate of Nancy Schweizer v. Estate of Roland Schweizer, 7 K.A.2d 128, 129, 638 P.2d 378 (1982).

17. Cited; taxes as not including federal estate tax on marital deduction property, reduction of marital deduction examined. Jeschke v. U.S., 814 F.2d 568, 576 (1987).

18. Cited; revocable inter vivos trust created by husband without wife's consent examined. Newman v. George, 243 K. 183, 185, 755 P.2d 18 (1988).

19. IRA considered revocable inter vivos trust subject to rights of nonconsenting surviving spouse. McCarty v. State Bank of Fredonia, 14 K.A.2d 552, 560, 795 P.2d 940 (1990).

20. Cited where 9-1215 construed to exclude payable-on-death accounts from all provisions of probate code. Snodgrass v. Lyndon State Bank, 15 K.A.2d 546, 552, 811 P.2d 58 (1991).

21. Action by widow of testate decedent to invalidate inter vivos trusts and have assets transferred to probate estate examined. Taliaferro v. Taliaferro, 252 K. 192, 195, 843 P.2d 240 (1992).


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