Questions Answered by Scott C. Stockwell

Q: Can an administrator of an estate make monetary decisions with out notifying the beneficiaries

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Kansas on
Answered on Mar 18, 2019
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
An administrator is subject to the oversight of a probate judge. If the estate is one of "simplified administration", there is less supervision required than under normal administration. All administrators have a fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interest of the estate, its creditors, and the beneficiaries. If an administrator is acting in an interested manner or favoring one heir, creditor, or a third party over those persons or the estate to whom a fiduciary duty is owed, the...

Q: Do we have to go through probate court or can we get a decree of descent?

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Kansas on
Answered on Mar 18, 2019
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
Depending upon the size or value of the estate, the potential claims against the estate, and the agreement among the possible heirs, there are several options availiable to the heirs at law. Simplified adminstration allows for minimizing the oversight of the court and is generally available if the case does not require complex administration beyond the experience of the administrator, there are adquate assets to pay potential claims, and there is an agreement between the heirs. If no probate...

Q: I'm going to prepare a will and have a question concerning inheritance tax on my home.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Kansas on
Answered on Mar 18, 2019
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
You are planning on writing a will. A will is a document that--in Kansas at least--is given no legal effect until it is probated in a court after the person who wrote the will (the “testator”) has passed away. When you pass, and the will is filed with the court and determined to be valid, the terms of the will will control who receives the asset or the proceeds from the sale of the asset. Making a transfer to an adult child while the owner is still living causes the house to be transferred...

Q: How can I use the Kansas simplified estates act for my mom's estate? I am an only child and she was divorced.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Kansas on
Answered on Mar 9, 2019
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
Simplified estates probate procedure is designed to assist people with circumstances similar to yours. One or several heir(s)/beneficiary(ies)/legatee(s)/devisee(s) whose interests and relationships are in alignment; fixed assets (as opposed to an ongoing business), the amount of assets, the solvency of the estate, and the probable costs of administration. Depending upon circumstances, there may be other options for handling the estate (such as determination of descent, for example) that you...

Q: Me and my brother are in probate because our father died..I recently just signed a consent and waiver now what?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Kansas on
Answered on Jan 24, 2019
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
There are several different procedures under which the probate proceeding could have been filed. You indicate you recently signed a consent and waiver and that a final settlement was filed. Any person who has an interest in the estate should keep informed about the progress the probate proceeding. Essential information about an estate includes an asset inventory and valuation that is filed with the court. The inventory and valuation would identify what assets are held by the estate and the...

Q: If there is a lien on a house, can we keep adding joint tenants, generation after generation to pass on the home?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Kansas on
Answered on Dec 27, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
It is not unusual for a mortgage and/or a promissory note to have a provision that accelerates the debt obligation upon the transfer of an interest in the property to another person. To answer your question, you would want to know the specifics of the promissory note and mortgage in question. As a practical matter, mortgage companies do not frequently accelerate mortgages upon a transfer if the loan in being repaid on a timely basis, regardless of whether the mortgage or promissory note has...

Q: My Mother in law passed away

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Kansas on
Answered on Dec 27, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
If there is a will, it should be filed with the court within six months of the date of death. Notice will be provided to persons with a potential interest in the estate and a hearing date will be set. If no one opposes the probate of the will, it will be probated as a valid will and an executor (or administrator with the will attached) will be appointed. Creditors will have a period of four months from the filing of the petition to make claims against the estate. The spouse will have the right...

Q: If my LLC is sued, is my other property, not in the LLC, protected from any liability?

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for Kansas on
Answered on Aug 9, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
If a limited liability company is properly formed, operated, and capitalized, a judgment against the LLC would not normally be enforceable against the individual members of the LLC. You should consult with legal counsel to determine whether the company has been properly formed, operated, and capitalized.

Q: Do beneficiaries of a will need legal representation? Is there a time limit a beneficiary has to respond to a will..?

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Kansas on
Answered on Jul 11, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
Whether the estate would be probated in Kansas or Massachusetts would be a threshold question that would need to be answered with the assistance of counsel. The appropriate jurisdiction for probate of the will would be based upon several different factors. If Massachusetts is the appropriate jurisdiction, your questions would be more appropriately directed to a Massachusetts' attorney.

If Kansas is the appropriate jurisdiction, a will must be filed with the court within six months of...

Q: My husband is not listed on our house title or loan. Can I sell him my house for the appraised amount?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Kansas on
Answered on Jun 19, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
In Kansas, a spouse has full legal rights to sell a piece of property to another spouse. You could also transfer the house to your spouse without value. From your question, however, it would appear that the real question is whether you could complete such a sale and your husband obtain financing for a sum greater than $313,000 plus closing costs? A logical place to begin is to fully disclose the proposed transaction to the bank to determine whether the bank is willing to provide the sought...

Q: Mother signed the deed to her house to my brother but the finacing is in her name, she died,

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Kansas on
Answered on Jun 19, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
You describe a set of circumstances in which the details (facts) will be critical to answering your question. You should consult with an attorney licensed in the state in which your mother's estate is located.

A deed making a present transfer and recorded prior to the grantor's death could make a transfer to an individual for that person's own benefit or in trust or constructive trust, again depending upon what was written or said or both. If a transfer is knowingly made, without...

Q: If I'm added to the mortgage as executor, does the house still need to go through probate?

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Kansas on
Answered on May 25, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
If a person passes away owning real estate in his/her name only and without a transfer on death deed making an automatic transfer at death, some probate proceeding would be required to convey ownership of the property or to authorize someone to transfer the property on behalf of the estate. If an executor or administrator is appointed, that person would have the authority to sell the property consistent with the terms of the will, if any, or an order of the court. If no estate is opened within...

Q: If I own a home but agreed and signed a 5 year contract for someone to rent to own my home, can I get my home back?

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Kansas on
Answered on May 9, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
There are several issues that would pertain to a "rent to own" agreement that would depend upon the terms of the actual agreement. You should consult with an attorney, sharing with her or him the documents pertaining to the agreement.

Q: My wife and her sister recently inherited a property/house in Tallahassee, Florida from their father at his passing.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Kansas on
Answered on May 7, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
The law that would apply to the lease of a Florida property would be Florida law. You need to seek legal advice from an attorney licensed in Florida.

Q: How long to probate a will in kansas

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Kansas on
Answered on May 7, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
Kansas law provides that a will must be submitted to the court within six months of the date of death. If a party withholds the will from the court, that party may not receive under the terms of the will more than that party would receive under the laws of intestacy. If a will is discovered, an innocent party (not having intentionally withheld the will) may file the will if done so expeditiously.

Q: How much time do I need to give tenets to up the rent?

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Kansas on
Answered on Apr 28, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
If the lease is a month-to-month, a landlord may provide notice at least one month prior to a rent-paying date that the lease is going to terminate at the end of the following month. In a separate written communication, a landlord could communicate an offer to enter into a written lease at a higher rent, while being clear that the communication is not a lease extension itself. Communications in residential landlord-tenant situations should be clear. Ambiguity in communications is often...

Q: Can I sell my house after it went through a foreclosure auction?

1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure for Kansas on
Answered on Apr 28, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
After a foreclosure auction of a personal residence occurs, the prior owner has a certain period of time to "redeem" the house. The right of redemption typically is three months long, unless more than one-third of the indebtedness had been previously paid, in which event the period of redemption extends to twelve months. During this period of time, the owner may "redeem" the property if the owner pays the balance owed, including interest and costs. A foreclosed owner may transfer or sell his or...

Q: My parents sold a piece of property using a quitclaim deed and buyer has not paid.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Kansas on
Answered on Apr 24, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
Your parents should consult with an attorney as soon as possible. There are reasons why a small claims case might not be the optimal course of litigation. There are some unanswered questions that would be better discussed in a confidential communication with an attorney.

Q: Husband died 6 years ago, Will filed, no probate, everything was joint. Now, found a stock certificate, in his name only

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Kansas on
Answered on Apr 24, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
There is a process that allows for use of an affidavit for the heirs at law or beneficiaries of a will to transfer the assets directly to them if the value of the estate is under a certain amount. K.S.A. 59-1507b provides that if the total assets of the decedent subject to probate do not exceed $40,000 in value, any personal property of whatever nature transferrable to the decedent's estate by any entity or person shall be transferred to the successor or successors of the decedent, if entitled...

Q: I moved I to an abandoned property 7 years ago took 6 months of labor and money. Never paid rent. Do I have rigjts

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Kansas on
Answered on Apr 24, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
Adverse possession is recognized as a way to become an owner of a property. The person occupying the property must do so in a hostile, actual, exclusive, open and notorious way for a continuous period of fifteen years. K.S.A. 60-503. A person with a superior interest in the property may file an action for possession to dislodge the person in possession of the property or to quiet title. K.S.A. 60-1001, 60-1002.

Kansas law provides a right to reimbursement for improvements made by a...

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