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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.

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 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
Professional Associations
Douglas County Estate Planning Council
- Current
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Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
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  • Free Consultation
    A free consultation for estate planning and probate clients.
  • Credit Cards Accepted
    Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express
Practice Areas
Estate Planning
Guardianship & Conservatorship Estate Administration, Health Care Directives, Trusts, Wills
Probate Administration, Probate Litigation, Will Contests
Elder Law
Real Estate Law
Commercial Real Estate, Condominiums, Easements, Eminent Domain, Homeowners Association, Land Use & Zoning, Mortgages, Neighbor Disputes, Residential Real Estate, Water Law
Business Law
Business Contracts, Business Dissolution, Business Finance, Business Formation, Business Litigation, Franchising, Mergers & Acquisitions, Partnership & Shareholder Disputes
Additional Practice Areas
  • General Civil
  • Probate Law
  • Wills and Trusts
  • English: Spoken, Written
  • German: Spoken
Legal Answers
Q. My deceased mother put her ira in my name. My stepdad is refusing to let me see her will or giving me any information.
A: If an IRA has a beneficiary designation or a payable on death (POD) provision, the transfer of that asset is a non-probate transfer. Typically, a IRA custodian will convey to the beneficiary's benefit an IRA account upon presentation of a death certificate and, proof of identity.

As for the probate estate, any heir at law is an interested party and may petition to open the estate. Once the petition has been filed, a disclosure proceeding may be requested by any interested party. K.S.A. 59-2216 provides:

59-2216. Disclosure proceedings. Upon the filing of a petition by a personal representative or any person interested in the estate, alleging that any person has concealed, converted, embezzled or disposed of any property belonging to the estate of a decedent or ward, or that any person has possession or knowledge of any will or codicil of a decedent, or of any instruments in writing relating to the property of such decedent or ward, the court, upon such notice it directs, may order such person to appear before it for disclosure. Refusal to appear or submit to examination, or failure to obey any lawful order based thereon, shall constitute contempt of court.

The court may also point a special administrator pursuant to K.S.A. 59-710 and authorize such special administrator to take possession or obtain such records or information as may help to identify the IRA custodian or to procure the will, if one exists, so that the estate may be fully probated.
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Q. “ I——- do solemnly swear that I will faithfully, impartially and to the best of my ability discharge all duties of my
A: The language you included in your question is standard language for the oath of an executor that has to be filed with the court before the named executor is issued letters testamentary that give the executor the power to act.

The language does not give up a named executor’s right to serve as executor.
Q. Next door neighbor wants to claim about six to eight feet of our property is theirs to
A: Adverse possession is a concept that developed in the courts. If someone conspicuously and openly occupied a property for a long period of time, making use of the property, adding improvements, etc., they were in a position of becoming an de facto owner of the property. It was unfair to allow some absentee owner to show up many years later and claim what they have ignored and to inequitably benefit from the other person's industry. There are hundreds of cases, with hundreds of permutations, of property being claimed successfully and often unsuccessfully, by adverse possession.

The Kansas Legislature enacted a statutory standard that provides some clarity. The statute says, in relevant part:

60-503. Adverse possession. No action shall be maintained against any person for the recovery of real property who has been in open, exclusive and continuous possession of such real property, either under a claim knowingly adverse or under a belief of ownership, for a period of fifteen (15) years.

The statute provides a simple three-point test: (1) The possession must be "open, exclusive, and continuous"; (2) The claim must be "knowingly adverse" ('I know I don't own this property but I am going to be here anyway') or under a belief of ownership ('I thought it was my property and that's why I put that building there'); and (3) for a period of 15 years.

What is important is how a specific situation and the facts over a 15-year-plus period align with the law (the statute and the cases that interpret and expand on it). You should consult with an attorney who can help you to identify the facts and law that will clarify whether the claim for adverse possession is valid.
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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