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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
76 Questions Answered

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.
Q. If you are doing business only as an LLC, does it make sense to have E&O for yourself as an individual?
A: Your question is about the extent of coverage of an E&O insurance policy. The extent of the coverage would be affected by the specific terms of the insurance policy. Rather than rely upon a blanket statement, you may want to have an attorney review your specific policy to answer the question. As part of your process, you may also want to do some comparison shopping. A competitor may point out inadequacies of your existing policy or point you to greater coverage that may not be available from your existing insurance agent. In any event, an oral assurance should not be relied upon in absence of specific written language to which it makes reference.
Q. I own a welding shop in KS. Made repairs to a horse trailer, wasn't paid. How can I sell the trailer to pay for the bill
A: Kansas staute 58-201 reads as follows: Liens for materials and services; filing statements with register of deeds, contents. Whenever any person, at or with the owner's request or consent shall perform work, make repairs or improvements or replace, add or install equipment on any goods, personal property, chattels, horses, mules, wagons, buggies, automobiles, trucks, trailers, locomotives, railroad rolling stock, barges, aircraft, equipment of all kinds, including but not limited to construction equipment, vehicles of all kinds, and farm implements of whatsoever kind, a first and prior lien on such personal property is hereby created in favor of such person performing such work, making such repairs or improvements or replacing, adding or installing such equipment and such lien shall amount to the full amount and reasonable value of the services performed and shall include the reasonable value of all material used in the performance of such services and the reasonable value of all equipment replaced, added or installed. That statute might be your starting point. While the item is in the possesion of the workman or workwoman, he or she may retian the property while the bill (if owing) is unpaid. There is a time limit for foreclosure of a lien. You should seek advice of an attorney to assist you in asserting the lien claim and filing any foreclosure.
Q. Is a TOD on property still good if one of my siblings passed before our mother or do we go by her Will?
A: Your mother prepared and filed a transfer on death (TOD) deed after your father passed in 1990. In or about 2009, your sibling (implied to be a beneficiary of TOD deed), passed away. After your sibling's passing, your mother wrote an updated "will" that was notarized. A transfer on death deed operates independently of a will and may not be revoked by provsions of a will. K.S.A. 59-3503 (c). "If a grantee beneficary dies prior to death of the record owner and an alterative grantee beneficiary has not been designated in the deed, the transfer shall lapse." K.S.A. 59-3504 (c). If your mother was not aware that the transfer on death deed could not be revoked by the will amendment, the outcome may not reflect her intentions. The heirs at law and beneficiaries of the alleged whose interests might be affected may enter into a valid settlement agreement that distributes the estate differently than is provided by the will. K.S.A. 59-102 (8). Assets in the estate could be redistributed to make the distribution, in conjunction with the transfer on death deed, provide for a distribution that better reflects your mother's intent. You should consult with an attorney to sort out the options.
Q. Can a wife recoup funeral costs from her husband’s probated estate?
A: In Kansas, payment of final expenses of the decedent would be expenses the estate would be obligated to pay. A proper claim would need to be made within the time allowed. The spouse also has rights to request a share of the estate under different statutes, including spousal allowance, homestead, and spousal share. The spouse should consult with an attorney immediately. There are time limits that would apply.
Q. I was warded Guardianship/Conservatory for my 89 year old grandmother who recently passed away on May 3rd 2019.
A: A small estates affidavit is for certain items of tangible and intangible personal property. A house and the land it occupies would be real property. The appointment of an administrator (no will) or executor (will) is necessary to effectuate a transfer of a decedent's real property. If there is no will, it is also possible to wait six months from the date of death and complete a determination of descent (one petition, one order) to complete a transfer of the real property at that time. If an estate is not opened promptly, it is imporant to assure that the house insurance remains in place.
Q. If I did work on someone who is renovating houses then selling them can I file a lawsuit if they don't want to pay me?
A: If work is done as a subcontractor on residential real estate, there is a process provided for by statute to file a mechanic's lien on the property. For improvements to existing residential property, the statute is K.S.A. 60-1103A (for new residential property K.S.A. 60-1103B). The filing of a mechanic's lien for a subcontractor for improvement to residential real estate requires the provision and filing of a warning statement.
Q. Does new ownership of an asst living facility have to honor prepaid rent?
A: Assisted living facilities are regulated in the state of Kansas. . One of the first steps you should take is to reach out to state regulators and make a formal complaint. In a typcial transaction where a facility is transferred, a part of the transaction closing would be a true-up of prepaids and deposits. The purchaser of the facility was in the best position to ensure that an accurate true-up was completed. In the true-up, credits and debits would be permitted for oustanding obligations or benefits that were not otherwise accounted for in third party transactions with residents or third party vendors. You should consult with an attorney immediatly to ensure the options for enforcing the rights of the patient are preserved.
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Ad Astra Legal LC
810 Pennsylvania ST
Suite 211
Lawrence, KS 66044-2772
Telephone: (785) 842-1359
Cell: (785) 423-1990