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Scott C. Stockwell

Scott C. Stockwell

Legal Services for Kansans
  • Estate Planning, Probate, Elder Law...
  • Kansas
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Scott C. Stockwell has a general practice of law with a focus in estate planning, probate, business law serving the Lawrence, Kansas and Douglas County, Kansas area as well as the surrounding counties of Jefferson, Leavenworth, Wyandotte, Johnson, Franklin, Osage, and Shawnee. Scott is a 1984 J.D. graduate of the University of Kansas School of Law in Lawrence, Kansas, a 2015 M.B.A. graduate of the W. P. Carey School of Business in Tempe, Arizona and a 1981 B.A. graduate of Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas.

Practice Areas
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate
  • Elder Law
  • Real Estate Law
  • Business Law
Additional Practice Areas
  • General Civil
  • Probate Law
  • Wills and Trusts
  • Free Consultation
    A free consultation for estate planning and probate clients.
  • Credit Cards Accepted
    Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
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  • English: Spoken, Written
  • German: Spoken
Professional Experience
Scott C. Stockwell, Attorney at Law
- Current
Private Legal Practice in Lawrence, Kansas
Director, Utilities Division
Kansas Corporation Commission
Assistant to Commissioner Keith R. Henley
Kansas Corporation Commission
Arizona State University
MBA (2015) | Information Management, Marketing, and International Business
International Study in France and Spain
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University of Kansas School of Law
J.D. | Law
Activities: Law Clerk Johnson County District Court; Traffic Court Attorney; Chief Judge of the Traffic Court
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Kansas State University
B.A. | Political Science, Pre-Law
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Professional Associations
Douglas County Estate Planning Council
- Current
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Websites & Blogs
Legal Answers
83 Questions Answered

Q. 2 people getting a loan, 1 owns land used for collateral Do both people need to be on deed of property?
A: If two people are not married, a person (and his or her spouse) who owns the real property may give a mortgage of the property to secure a loan. The bank may have concerns about making a loan in which there is not an identify of interest between the owners of the collateral and the borrowers on the loan. You should seek the assistance of an attorney to negotiate the situation with the lender.
Q. Does wife sign contract to sell home or just husband
A: Kansas law provides protections to spouses preventing the sale of real estate without the consent of the spouse. As a practical matter, the spouse's signature is also required on the sale of real estate owned by one spouse. If neither spouse lives in Kansas and has never lived in the state of Kansas, the answer may be different, but if a title insurance company is involved, it may require both signatures to ensure passage of title without question.
Q. I have a Deed which states:
A: There is more to a deed than these provisions, so you should consult with an attorney to ensure that the document does what is intended and has been properly recorded. With that caveat, the question posed is in the nature of a hypothetical asking how the language quoted would affect the rights of four people were that language to appear in a deed duly recorded and otherwise conveying a complete interest in the property described in the deed. The persons conveying real estate are the grantors and the persons receiving it are the grantees. The grantors in this hypothetical are the couples A and B. The grantees are Mr. B and Mrs. B, receiving the property as joint tenants with right of survivorship. If Mr. B passes away, Mrs. B. would be the sole owner as a joint tenant with right of survivorship. If both Mr. B. and Mrs. B. passed away--one after the other--the estate of the last to pass away would be the owner of the real estate, to be distributed in accordance with the laws of intestacy (if no will exists) or of testacy, should a will exist. Mr. A and Mrs. A would have no further interest in the subject property unless possibly one of the other of them is an heir or legatee/devisee of the deceased.
Q. Can the siblings of the deceased take away from the children of the deceased? Uncle left no will.
A: In the absence of a will, a person passes away "intestate", meaning "without a will". Intestate estates pass to the spouse and children; if there is no spouse, then to the children, in equal shares. The first step for children of the deceased is to open an estate. The person named by the court as an administrator would have control over the assets of the decedent that remain in the estate. if a third party claims an asset as theirs through a lifetime gift, it would be for them to make such a claim and for the probate judge to decide. If the deceased intended to make a gift of a vehicle, he could have transferred the title, made a transfer on death (TOD) title, or written a will. A judge could be expected to weigh the lack of those actions when making a decision. The daughters should visit with an attorney and make an informed decision about how to proceed.
Q. My mother passed away in September with no will or estate. She was the single owner of a home. How do we sell said home?
A: If no estate has been opened, a determination of descent proceeding may be initiated after six months have passed from the date of death. A determination of descent proceeding starts with a petition, requires notice to all heirs and notice to the general public by publication, a hearing, and will result in an order that transfers the property to the heirs at law or to the person(s) stated in a valid settlement agreement signed by the heirs at law and spouses. A valid settlement agreement may include an agreement by the heirs as to whom the property will transfer. An agreement might also serve as a basis for terms between the heirs as to how the taxes would be paid and the sale would occur. You should seek the assistance of an attorney to advise you about the best procedure for your circumstances and to file a petition with the court. An attorney could help to identify the best procedure. There may be other assets for which an estate or an informal administration might be necessary or appropriate.
Q. Is there any way to tranfer a deed after death without probate?
A: There are several procedures that might apply to a situation in which a decedent leaves a spouse and one or more (presumably) adult children. 1. Refusal to grant letters sidesteps formal probate in the event that the size of the estate is less than the spousal allowance. The real estate would be transferred. If the total value of the estate is in the range of $50,000, this is an option that should be explored with an attorney. This might be the least cost solution on average. 2. Informal Administration provides for a little more structure than refusal and does not have financial limits, but again allows for a simple process to facilitate transfer that does or formally open an estate. 3. Determination of descent is a common procedure that is available if no estate was opened in the first six months after the decedent passes. The property is determined by order to transfer to the heirs at law or pursuant to a valid settlement agreement among all persons with an interest in the estate. In most instances, a simple settlement agreement (arrived at with the assistance of an attorney) may smooth the way towards the best and lowest cost option. If one person has diminished capacity that would make it difficult or impossible for him or her to enter into an agreement, then it may be more complicated to enter into an agreement or have a settlement that distributes the assets in a way that gives that person less than he or she might be entitled to without an agreement. An attorney would help you to sort out the options. Also, if a person suffering dementia is now or in the future eligible for Medicaid, transfers without adequate value could affect his or her eligibility. You should obtain legal counsel to help you sort out the options.
Q. If you sign a contract to sell a house as poa and a week later you’re loved one passes away can you continue with sell?
A: The question appears to indicate that an attorney in fact under a power of attorney signed an agreement to sell a house owned by the principal. The sale was not completed before the passing of the principal. For the most part, a power of attorney is not effective after the death of the principal. Depending upon how the sales agreement was drafted, the estate or heirs may be bound to complete the sale. An estate may be opened in probate court and administrator, special administrator, or executor may be empowered by the court to sell the real property, depending upon what the will (if any) provides. You should consult with a probate attorney as soon as possible to determine the next steps.
Q. I am sole owner of a house in Kansas that I wish to sell. What are my options if my spouse refuses to sign at closing?
A: The Kansas Constitution provides that, "A homestead to the extent of one hundred and sixty acres of farming land, or of one acre within the limits of an incorporated town or city, occupied as a residence by the family of the owner, togeth er with all the improvements on the same...shall not be alienated without the joint consent of husband and wife, when that relation exists..." Kansas Constitution, Article 15, Section 9. Kansas probate law provides that, "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...The surviving spouse shall not be entitled to any interest under the provisions of this section in any real estate of which such decedent in such decedent's lifetime made a conveyance, when such spouse at the time of the conveyance was not a resident of this state and never had been during the existence of the marriage relation." K.S.A. 59-505. In summary, if the sale is for your homestead, or if your spouse has ever been a Kansas resident at any time during your marriage, your spouse's signature is required.
Q. How do I obtain a copy of someones will? I have been to the courthouse and they say they do not have one on file.
A: After a Kansas resident passes away, any will known to exist is to be filed with the court and probate proceedings initiated within six months. K.S.A. 59-617. Probate is essential to give effect to the will. K.S.A. 59-616. The person(s) with access to the will have an affirmative obligation to file it. K.S.A. 618. If you are an heir at law or a person named in the will, you may demand access to the will if you know who might have the document. It may be necessary to file a case to open the estate and ask the court for an order require it be provided to the court. K.S.A. 59-621. If the terms of the will are known but the original cannot be located, a petition may be filed to probate the lost will. Any person with an interest in a possible estate as an heir, beneficiary of the will, or a creditor of the deceased, may file a probate case in the county of residence of the decedent to open an estate. Notice will be provided to known heirs and the public generally. Such a case will be the proceeding in which any discovered will would normally be probated. If you have an interest in the estate, you should consult with legal counsel to determine how best to protect your interest.
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810 Pennsylvania ST
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Lawrence, KS 66044
Telephone: (785) 842-1359
Cell: (785) 423-1990