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Kansas Death No Will

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Junior Member
A family members long time partner has passed away in Kansas without a will. Family member has been living with him, caring for him, paying the mortgage on his home, paying the utilities, upkeep, etc. for over a decade. They lived together but, had no property jointly and maintained separate finances. They did not hold themselves out as married. There are a couple hundred thousand due in medical bills. His daughters have come into the home, taken all the antique furniture given to him by his grandmother and his classic cars. Daughters lawyer has drawn up an agreement allowing my relative to remain in the home, continue paying the mortgage, insurance and upkeep. She will be allowed to occupy the home until she moves or dies. Then the home belongs to the daughters. They are planning on not filing any estate paperwork at this point in time. They are waiting six months to see if creditors file for payment.
Is not filing any estate paperwork, simply waiting out the creditors to try and avoid payment of medical bills legal? Thanks for any insight into this situation.


Senior Member
I'm sorry for your loss, but the problem is that casual cohabitators don't lead to any intestate property rights regardless of the level of care or upkeep of the deceased. Probate really should be opened in some form. If the aggregate assets are less than $25,000 (I assume these "daughters" are not minors), there's a simplified procedure, but it sounds like you've got way more assets than that here. Dealing with the property of the deceased without probate can be problematic. Shame on the daughter's lawyer for suggesting such a thing. The house (and other property of the deceased) doesn't belong to the daughters or the partner until probate occurs. It's not clear what force such an "agreement" has as such.

The surviving partner really should talk to a probate attorney. In many cases anybody with an interest can instigate probate.


Junior Member
Thank-you I will suggest my relative speak to a lawyer other than the one retained by the daughters.


Surviving partner should not plan on being able to live in the house. With that level of medicqal bills, creditors are likely to come after it and other assets such as the cars and furniture.

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