Questions Answered by Scott C. Stockwell

Q: In Kansas does a lawyer need to be present or involved in the closing process of purchasing a home?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Kansas on
Answered on Apr 23, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
There is not a legal requirement that an attorney be present during a closing process of purchasing a home. The challenge, however, is that realtor cannot and should not provide legal advice. Issues may arise during closing for which legal advice is needed.

Whether a seller or a purchaser, having an attorney review legal documents such as a purchase agreement, disclosure statement, and the HUD-1 settlement statement is a good idea. Some parties choose to have an attorney attend the...

Q: What happens with a trust when all the trustees are deceased?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Kansas on
Answered on Apr 23, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
Sometimes a trust document provides a process for the identification or appointment of successor trustees who are not called out in the trust document. Alternatively, a court proceeding may be initiated by someone having an interest in the estate to ask the court to make determinations in furtherance of the interests of the beneficiaries of the trust. You should promptly consult with an attorney to determine the best course of action to proceed.

Q: Does an abandoned child have any rights to the absent parents estate after death?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Kansas on
Answered on Apr 23, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
If a valid will exists, the interests of children, as heirs at law, may be superseded. If a valid will does not exist, an heir at law continues to be an heir and may have an interest in the estate, despite having been abandoned. If the father were he to marry again, the new spouse would have certain spousal rights that could be exercised against the estate; again, the heir at law may have an interest in the estate.

Q: Trustee violating fiduciary duties and bene wants the state to get involved. Who should the bene contact at state level?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Missouri on
Answered on Mar 9, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
This question is appearing in the Kansas section. You may want to resubmit in the Missouri section.

Q: I signed a contract with a former employer when I changed my availability they let me go. The contract states if I quit

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Employment Law for Kansas on
Answered on Mar 7, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
Employment agreements sometimes provide that, if a benefit is afforded at the early stage of the employment, and an employee leaves before having reached a certain anniversary, that the employee would repay the expense incurred for the benefit. Your question implies that your "availability" fit one schedule and then you changed it to fit another schedule. Your question really relates to how the facts of the situation fit the terms of the written documentation. You should consult with an...

Q: Does my brother have to surrender the house he has lived in for the last 8 years taking care of his mother in home

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Foreclosure for Kansas on
Answered on Mar 7, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
Your brother should consult with an attorney regarding the Medicaid eligibility issues that may relate to the situation. A home of a Medicaid recipient may be transferred to an adult child who has lived with the Medicaid applicant for the two years prior to going into the nursing home and the child has made it possible for the parent to live in the home longer than he or she would have been able to.

Q: I let a man in need borrow my car. He now won’t return it or answer my calls. How can I get it back?

1 Answer | Asked in Uncategorized for Kansas on
Answered on Mar 2, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
You should consult with an attorney to determine the best course of action. It could be appropriate to file a police report at some point. There is also a civil lawsuit action called where a person who has been dispossessed of their property may ask the court to restore the property to the owner's possession. The best course of action would depend up the circumstances of your case.

Q: Mother wants to sell a cell tower??

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Kansas on
Answered on Mar 2, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
If a person owns a life estate in a piece of real property, that person would not have the power to sell the real estate outright without the person with the remainder interest participating as a seller in the sale. The tower may be a fixture that, once affixed to the property, becomes a part of the real estate. There may also be a contract or lease that was agreed to by the landowner that may affect whether the tower may be removed without the landowner's consent and by whom. An attorney...

Q: Kansas probate law. A friend of mine is the beneficiary of her late husbands estate. The estate owns part of a business,

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Kansas on
Answered on Mar 2, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
Your friend needs to seek the advice of an attorney immediately. The issues touched upon in your question are much too difficult to address in a question and answer setting. There may be time-sensitive issues that must be address quickly or your friend may lose some potential remedies available to her. An experienced probate attorney is needed to review how the case has developed and what the current situation might be.

Q: I was a nanny for a family without a written agreement. They did not tell me they were not going to withhold federal tax

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Family Law and Tax Law for Kansas on
Answered on Feb 26, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
A nanny who works in the home and is paid more than $2,100 (2018 amount, $2,000 2017 amount) should have taxes withheld and the employer's contribution for Social Security paid by the employer. Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), an employee is entitled to a minimum wage, time and a half for overtime (in excess of forty hours per week.) https://www.dol.gov/whd/flsa/index.htm . The Department of Labor's information about filing a complaint may be found at:...

Q: In the state of Kansas, do the probate courts allow you to use your own appraiser for real estate or do they assign one

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Kansas on
Answered on Feb 26, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
If the executor or administrator proposes to sell real estate, he or she may file a petition to sell the real estate. K.S.A. 59-2303. The petition may include the name of a proposed purchaser and suggest appraisers, which appraisers may be approved by the court, or the court could direct different appraisers. A hearing on the petition is set and notice given to the interested parties. K.S.A. 59-2304. Kansas probate sale directs that property sold at a private sale (as opposed to a public...

Q: In Kansas how long can a probate case be opened.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Kansas on
Answered on Feb 23, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
Normally, a probate case should be completed within about nine months. If there are legitimate needs, the court may extend the authority of the executor or administrator, but that should be formalized with a petition for additional time and an order authorizing it. There is not an absolute limit as to the length of time a probate case may be open.

If the question relates to how long after the death of an individual may an estate be opened for the first time, the answer depends upon...

Q: My step father passed away and his biological son's don't want to file probate,

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Kansas on
Answered on Feb 23, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
People who have an interest in an estate may enter into a valid settlement agreement. "Valid settlement agreement" means a written and acknowledged instrument which affects the administration or distribution of the estate and which is entered into by all interested heirs, devisees, legatees and persons whose interests are affected by the settlement agreement, all of whom must be competent or authorized to enter into such agreement. K.S.A. 59-102 (8). Courts favor settlement agreements. You...

Q: How can I find out if my dad who has passed away that his name was the only name on his house I need to know how to

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Kansas on
Answered on Feb 23, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
One possible source is to visit the Register of Deeds office for the county in which the home is located. The staff will assist you in searching for the record owner (as shown in a deed). You might also want to check the records of the county treasurer to see who is shown as the owner. You should consult with an attorney to confirm what you have learned. There are proceedings, such as a probate case, that may affect ownership of property without a deed having been filed. You and the attorney...

Q: If a landlord gives you 3 day notice to vacate (Sedgwick County, KS) how long before you will be removed from property?

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Kansas on
Answered on Feb 23, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
It is necessary for a landlord to provide a three-day notice (rent must be paid in three days or an action to evict will be initiated) prior to filing a lawsuit. Once the lawsuit is filed, you will be served with notice that the lawsuit is filed and given a court date to appear. If you file a response, most counties will set another hearing date for a later date. After the trial (or if a party fails to appear), the court will enter an order. There is a fourteen day period that should pass...

Q: I just sold the house and want to use all proceeds from the house for my bother. To help with his finances as a safety

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Kansas on
Answered on Feb 23, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
You should consult with an attorney as soon as possible. The details of the transaction leading to the sale of the house are not clear from the limited information stated in the question. An attorney-in-fact operating under the powers vested in him or her by a durable power of attorney (DPOA) has fiduciary responsibilities that must be met. Those obligations may direct in part your actions and may limit some options.

Q: I am executor of estate from years ago and had found some money the previous trustee did not find have not distributed

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Kansas on
Answered on Feb 23, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
If there is a need to reopen the estate to empower an executor or administrator, that may be done. An attorney who would work with you in addressing this new development would want to be sure about the nature of the asset, what proceedings would be needed, and minimizing the cost of a new procedure to maximize the payout. You should consult with an attorney promptly.

Q: Guardianship/cons. petition in MO., GAL/court appointed atty. did not inform resp. of right to exam. Motion to retry?

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Kansas on
Answered on Feb 13, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
This question was misdirected to the Kansas section. Should ask again in the Missouri section.

Q: My mother passed away recently. She did not have a will. She lived with her boyfriend of 20-plus years. I'm her only hei

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Kansas on
Answered on Feb 12, 2018
Scott C. Stockwell's answer
A single person who passes away with one child would have a single heir, the child. Kansas does recognize common law marriage. So two single people may hold themselves out to be married and by virtue of their affirmative effort to be a married couple, may become married. Common law marriage has generally fallen into disfavor in a majority of other states. You should consult with an attorney about how to handle matters of the estate and questions about whether common law marriage would be an...

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