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59-513. Incapacity of person who kills another to take from decedent's estate or property; effect on estates and property of both of suicide by person who kills spouse; order prohibiting disposition of assets until criminal proceedings are completed. (a) No person convicted of feloniously killing, or procuring the killing of, another person shall inherit or take by will, by intestate succession, as a surviving joint tenant, as the designated beneficiary of real or personal property, as a beneficiary under a trust or otherwise from such other person any portion of the estate or property in which the decedent had an interest.

(b) When any person kills or causes the killing of such person's spouse, and then takes such person's own life, the estates and property of both persons shall be disposed of as if their deaths were simultaneous pursuant to the provisions of K.S.A. 58-708 to 58-718, inclusive, and amendments thereto.

(c) (1) The court may, upon its own motion or upon the written request of any party, prohibit the sale, distribution, spending or use of an asset or interest described in subsection (a), or a portion or proceeds thereof, by a person who has been arrested for or charged with the felonious killing, or procuring the killing of, the decedent.

(2) An order entered pursuant to this subsection may be granted ex parte upon a showing of criminal charges filed against a person interested in the estate.

(3) (A) An order entered pursuant to this subsection shall be in effect until modified or terminated by the court.

(B) Upon the written request of a person subject to an order under this subsection to modify or terminate such order, the court shall fix the time and place for the hearing thereof. Notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be given in such manner and to such persons as the court shall direct.

(C) The court shall terminate such order if the court finds that any of the following events relating to the arrest or charges that were the basis for the order have occurred:

(i) Dismissal of all such charges;

(ii) acquittal as to all such charges;

(iii) conviction or other disposition; or

(iv) expungement of the arrest records by court order pursuant to K.S.A. 22-2410, and amendments thereto.

History: L. 1939, ch. 180, § 35; L. 1970, ch. 225, § 1; L. 1995, ch. 105, § 1; L. 2023, ch. 74, § 1; July 1.

Source or prior law:


Law Review and Bar Journal References:

Annotation No. 1 discussed in note on joint tenancy, survivorship, and the felonious killing of cotenant, 7 K.L.R. 213 to 215 (1958).

Annotation No. 1 discussed in 1957-59 survey of real property and future interests law, James K. Logan, 8 K.L.R. 333, 344 (1959).

1957-59 survey of the law of administration of estates, Richard C. Harris, 8 K.L.R. 185, 191 (1959).

Survey of Kansas insurance law, Charles H. Oldfather, 16 K.L.R. 605, 610 (1968).

"Estates—Felonious Killing as a Bar to Intestate Succession," Gary D. Taylor, 8 W.L.J. 128, 129, 130, 131, 132 (1968).

1965-69 survey of estate planning and future interests, James K. Logan, 17 K.L.R. 455, 496 (1969).

1970 amendment broadens the prohibition for a murderer to take from his victim, Robert F. Bennett, 39 J.B.A.K. 107, 189 (1970).

Under proposed Uniform Probate Code, final conviction regarded as conclusive, but probate court allowed to determine whether killing was intentional in absence of conviction, Camilla Klein Haviland, 19 K.L.R. 575, 579 (1971).

Severance of joint tenancy, 18 W.L.J. 682, 684, 685, 687, 688, 689, 690 (1979).

"Survey of Kansas Law: Wills, Trusts, and Probate," Richard C. Harris, 27 K.L.R. 365, 372, 373 (1979).

"Barring the Slayer's Bounty: An Analysis of Kansas' Troubled Experience," John F. Kuether, 23 W.L.J. 494, 502 (1984).

"Refusing to Visit the Sins of the Father upon the Daughter: An Interpretation of the Kansas Slayer Statute," Anthony Martin Singer, 37 W.L.J. 229 (1997).


1. Section not applicable where title held in joint tenancy. In re Estate of Foster, 182 K. 315, 316, 321, 320 P.2d 855.

2. Petition asserting rights as heirs not a claim; amendment properly denied; claim barred. In re Estate of Lytle, 184 K. 304, 307, 336 P.2d 803.

3. Cited; assertion of rights under postnuptial contract not claim against estate. McCormick v. Maddy, 186 K. 154, 160, 348 P.2d 1007.

4. Conviction prior to operation of bar required; intent to kill necessary ingredient of offense; history and intent of section; constitutional; effect of conviction; cases reviewed. Rosenberger v. Northwestern Mutual Life Ins. Co., 176 F.Supp. 379; 182 F.Supp. 633.

5. Verdict of coroner's jury not a conviction sufficient to bar inheritance. In re Estate of Pyke, 199 K. 1, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 427 P.2d 67.

6. Where state statute is involved in case giving state court opportunity to interpret same, federal court should abstain from deciding question growing out of same facts. Morgan v. Equitable Life Assurance Society of U.S., 446 F.2d 929, 930, 931.

7. Applied; conduct of defense counsel did not constitute inadequate counsel as matter of law; factor for consideration. Schoonover v. State, 218 K. 377, 381, 382, 542 P.2d 881.

8. Referred to in determining death did not abate appeal from criminal conviction. State v. Jones, 220 K. 136, 137, 551 P.2d 801.

9. Section cited; life insurance policy in default; premiums not paid; recovery on policy denied. Blair v. Fidelity Life Association, 1 K.A.2d 382, 386, 567 P.2d 22.

10. Surviving joint tenant convicted of feloniously killing husband succeeded to undivided one-half interest in property. In re Estate of Shields, 1 K.A.2d 688, 689, 690, 691, 692, 574 P.2d 229.

11. Injunction restraining sale of property under this section held proper; appeal dismissed. In re Sandstrom, 224 K. 293, 580 P.2d 1310.

12. Surviving joint tenant convicted of killing other tenant succeeds to undivided one-half interest in property. In re Estate of Shields, 224 K. 604, 605, 608, 609, 610, 612, 584 P.2d 139.

13. Beneficiary under life insurance policy convicted of killing insured precluded from recovering proceeds of policy. Chute v. Old American Ins. Co., 6 K.A.2d 412, 415, 629 P.2d 734 (1981).

14. Statute does not preclude judicial application of common law rule when beneficiary killed insured but not convicted of the crime; beneficiary barred from recovery. Harper v. Prudential Ins. Co. of America, 233 K. 358, 366, 367, 662 P.2d 1264 (1983).

15. Slayer's minor child may inherit or take under grandparents' will; slayer's share passes as if slayer predeceased testators. In re Estate of Van Der Veen, 262 K. 211, 935 P.2d 1042 (1997).

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