Q: My Mother was a resident of Wichita, Kansas but passed away in Oklahoma. Would I need to create the estate in KS or OK
She left no living will, she had no bank account, she left me as the beneficiary of her insurance. She did not get to finish the rest of preparing.
A: You file the probate in the state in which the decedent was domiciled, which sounds like Kansas in your mother's case. that is a fair question because it is not uncommon for a person to die "out of town" (such as in a hospital in a neighboring state). Just because they happen to be across the border when they die does not change their domicile.
A: The place of residence would typically be the location where an estate would be probated if it were necessary to do so. The probate court has jurisdiction--or control--over assets that are located there. So if a person resides in Kansas and owns real estate in Kansas or their personal property in Kansas, that court has the authority to control those assets, ensure payment of properly filed creditors' claims, and to direct the distribution of those assets. If a person passes away while visiting another state, that would not normally cause the second state to have jurisdiction over the assets of the estate.
There are some procedures available for small estates that do not require a probate proceeding to be filed. You should consult with an attorney. The attorney should take into account the type of assets and the value of those assets in helping you to determine whether an estate is necessary.
If a person owns property in more than one state, it might be necessary to have an ancillary probate proceeding in the other state or states where the other property may be found. An ancillary proceeding is typically a matter of filing documents from the original probate estate in the court of the state in which that person has other property that is located in the other state.
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