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59-2287. Refusal to grant letters of administration; order; notice; termination of administration. (a) The district court, in its discretion, may refuse to grant letters in the following cases:

(1) When the value of real or personal property owned by the decedent is not greater in amount than is allowed by law as exempt property and the allowance to the surviving spouse or minor children under K.S.A. 59-403, and amendments thereto.

(2) When the real and personal estate of the decedent does not exceed $75,000 and the estate is not subject to allowances pursuant to K.S.A. 59-403, and amendments thereto, or such allowances are waived, any heir, devisee, legatee, creditor or other interested person may petition for refusal of letters by giving bond in the sum of not less than the value of the estate. Such bond shall be approved by the district court and conditioned upon the creditor's or heir's assuming the obligation to pay, so far as the assets of the estate will permit, the debts of the decedent in the order of their preference, and to distribute the balance, if any, to the persons entitled thereto under the law, except that real estate sold in accordance with this section shall be deemed to have marketable title as ordered by the court, and no creditor, heir or other person shall be deemed to have an interest after passage of six months following the date of death.

(b) Proof may be allowed by or on behalf of the surviving spouse or minor children before the district court of the value and nature of the estate. If the court is satisfied that no estate will be left after allowing to the surviving spouse or minor children their exempt property and statutory allowances, or that the real and personal estate does not exceed $75,000 when the petition is filed by a creditor or heir, the court may order that no letters of administration shall be issued on the estate, unless, upon the petition of other creditors, heirs or parties interested, the existence of other or further property is shown.

(c) When a petition is filed under this section by a surviving spouse or minor children, notice of the proceeding shall be given pursuant to K.S.A. 59-2222, and amendments thereto.

(d) Whenever it appears to the court that further proceedings in the administration of an estate pursuant to this section are unnecessary, the court shall enter an order terminating the administration of such estate. Such order shall be made without notice, unless the court otherwise orders, and it shall be to the effect that, unless further estate of the decedent be discovered, all further settlements and other proceedings concerning the estate be dispensed with and that the surviving spouse and minor children are relieved of any further obligations with respect to the estate. If further estate of the decedent is discovered and administration is had on it, such administration shall not abrogate or invalidate or otherwise affect any right, title or interest in property transferred or vested pursuant to this section unless the court, for good cause shown, otherwise determines and orders.

(e) Any will filed pursuant to this section within a period of six months after the death of the testator may be admitted to probate after such six-month period.

History: L. 1965, ch. 353, § 1; L. 1968, ch. 186, § 1; L. 1969, ch. 282, § 1; L. 1970, ch. 229, § 1; L. 1975, ch. 299, § 21; L. 1976, ch. 242, § 44; L. 1979, ch. 179, § 2; L. 1980, ch. 166, § 6; L. 1985, ch. 191, § 44; L. 1989, ch. 173, § 6; L. 1993, ch. 277, § 2; L. 2000, ch. 76, § 7; L. 2000, ch. 159, § 9; L. 2008, ch. 14, § 4; L. 2010, ch. 44, § 25; L. 2023, ch. 77, § 11; July 1.

Revisor's Note:

Section was also amended by L. 2000, ch. 25, § 7, but that version was repealed by L. 2000, ch. 159, § 14.

Law Review and Bar Journal References:

Survey of law of administration of estates, Richard C. Harris, 14 K.L.R. 139, 141, 142 (1965).

1965-69 survey of estate planning and future interests, James K. Logan, 17 K.L.R. 455, 492 (1969).

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

"A Practical Review of the 1975 Kansas Probate Code Revisions," Philip S. Frick, 44 J.B.A.K. 137, 181 (1975).

"Revocable Trusts," Alson R. Martin and Nancy Schmidt Roush, 51 J.K.B.A. 8, 9 (1982).


1. Finding of insufficient assets to warrant administration not conclusive or final order. In re Estate of Teichgraeber, 217 K. 373, 374, 375, 384, 386, 387, 388, 389, 537 P.2d 174.

2. Cited; will withheld from probate more than nine months; no forfeiture thereby of rights under 59-403. In re Estate of Ciochon, 4 K.A.2d 448, 457, 609 P.2d 177.

3. Under petition to refuse letters, creditor controls estate distribution; separate petition for allowance of creditor's demand not required. In re Estate of Kinnett, 23 K.A.2d 842, 935 P.2d 1090 (1997).

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