Lenexa, KS asked in Real Estate Law for Kansas

Q: My husband and his friend are selling a rental property. They had this property since 2001. We got married Oct 2018.

Title company wants my signature as well. We live in Kansas. Am I required to sign even though I never had anything to do with the property?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Scott C. Stockwell
Scott C. Stockwell
  • Lawrence, KS
  • Licensed in Kansas

A: Kansas has specific provisions with respect to real estate that provide spouses with protection against the transfer of real estate without the spouse's signature. Article 15, Section 9 of the state Constitution provides that the homestead may not be transferred without the written consent of the spouse. More pertinent to your situation, K.S.A. 59-505 of the probate code provides, in part, as follows: "Same; half of realty to surviving spouse. Except as provided further, the surviving spouse shall be entitled to receive one-half of all real estate of which the decedent at any time during the marriage was seized or possessed and to the disposition whereof the survivor shall not have consented in writing, or by a will, or by an election as provided by law to take under a will, except such real estate as has been sold on execution or judicial sale, or taken by other legal proceeding." In short, if a married person conveys property away without the signature of a spouse, at the time of probate of the married person's estate, the spouse will be entitled to half of the real estate conveyed without the spouse's signature. In absence of some contractual obligation to which the spouse has agreed, the spouse is not obligated to sign, but the title company will not insure the title and good title may not be conveyed.

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