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When someone dies without a Will property passes by what is called "Intestate Succession." This is a fancy legal term for having property go to people based on what the Statutes of Kansas say about how property gets distributed when there is no will.
Some property will pass automatically. For example jointly held property with a spouse likely will go to the spouse.
Property with a beneficiary designation (for example deferred compensation plans and life insurance) will go to the named person.
The above are examples of property that passes "outside the estate." The remaining property will go to relatives in an order dictated by statute.
Generally the order is as follows:
Deceased had children but no spouse: children inherit everything;
Deceased had a spouse but no descendants: spouse inherits everything;
Deceased had spouse and descendants: spouse inherits 1/2 - descendants inherit 1/2;
Deceased had parents but no spouse or descendants: parents inherit everything;
Deceased had siblings but no spouse, descendants, or parents: siblings inherit everything.
This article will help explain in more detail:
Here is the applicable law:
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