Robert W. Ramsdell

Robert W. Ramsdell

Lawrence, Kansas Attorney

Bob focuses his practice on estate planning and probate administration while handling a variety of other civil matters, such as premarital agreements.

In estate planning, he enjoys helping people think through their unique situation and plans, then drafting the appropriate documents – a Will or Living Trust, Financial and Healthcare Powers of Attorney, and a Living Will & Healthcare Directive – to capture their intent.  In working with Executors and Administrators, his focus is on handling the decedent’s estate in the most efficient, least cost manner that ensures all property is accounted for and distributed properly. 

Bob serves as adjunct faculty at the University of Kansas School of Law where he teaches Estate Planning: Practice.  For lay audiences, he gives public presentations on “Fundamentals of Estate Planning” on behalf of Douglas County Senior Services and the Lawrence Parks & Recreation Department.  This seminar, which Bob also gives to private groups on request, succinctly covers planning options for both death and disability.

He has distilled these insights into the book Estate Planning Overview (ISBN 978-1481864312) available from Amazon.  In August 2012, Bob was interviewed by WDAF / Fox 4 TV on the topic “Why do you need a Will?”  And since July 2013, he has written the estate planning column that appears in Kaw Valley Senior Monthly.  Copies of these columns can be viewed by accessing the back issues of Kaw Valley Senior Monthly available at www.seniormonthly.net.

Bob brings a broad background to his work in estate planning. 

Prior to law school, he served 21 years in the Army Field Artillery with assignments as diverse as teaching Economics on the faculty at West Point to serving as the Operations Officer of an MLRS rocket artillery battalion in Desert Storm.  He completed his service as a lieutenant colonel teaching tactics at the Command & General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Attending the University of Kansas School of Law after his military service, Bob was a member of both the Jessup International Law Moot Court Team and the National Moot Court Team.  At graduation he received the James P. Mize Trial Advocacy Award and earned Order of the Coif (top 10% of his class).  Since graduation, Bob has worked to expand the use of his economics background in estate planning, to include attending national seminars on “Basic Estate & Gift Taxation and Planning” and “Estate Planning in Depth” sponsored by the American Law Institute. 

His practice initially emphasized civil litigation, and Bob has successfully tried jury trials in Douglas, Franklin, Jefferson, and Leavenworth counties.   On each occasion when the losing party appealed, he briefed, argued, and won before the Kansas Court of Appeals.  He has also chaired Medical Malpractice Screening Panels assigned by the Douglas County District Court

Bob is active in his church, serving as its Treasurer for almost 4 years after chairing the Elder Search Committee.  He has also been active with the Boy Scouts of America and led ten Scouts on a 12-day mountain backpacking trek at Philmont Rocky Mountain Scout Camp.  Bob is a Past-President of the Judge Hugh Means American Inn of Court and currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Douglas County Estate Planning Council. 

Education

  • McDaniel College, B.A. in Economics, 1975
  • Dartmouth College, M.B.A., 1984
  • University of Kansas School of Law, J.D., 1999

Bar Admissions

  • Kansas
  • U.S. District Court of Kansas

Professional Affiliations

  • Kansas Bar Association
  • KBA Elder Law Section
  • KBA Real Estate, Probate & Trust Section
  • Judge Hugh Means Inn of Court
  • Douglas County Bar Association
  • Douglas County Estate Planning Council

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