Estate Planning

There are times that an Oil and Gas Mineral Deed may not be currently accurate. This may be due to the change of the owner’s name or address. Or the owner died and the heirs are wanting to have the interest transferred to them. The name on filed mineral deed cannot be changed, so how can this be fixed? A supplemental filing can correct in inaccurate name or address.

In the case of updating owner name and/or address this can be done with a simple affidavit. A different process is needed when a mineral owner dies. Scroll down to the headline that most fits your situation.

This discussion is for State of Oklahoma. Similar modulations may be available in other states.

You are the Mineral Owner but your Name or Address Has Changed from the Deed

You may have trouble asserting your rights or receiving information if your former name or address is listed on a deed, court order or other document is no longer correct. This may occur because :

  • The address is wrong, you moved or moved or wish to use a Post Office Box
  • Your name changed because of a
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Legal Name Change.

In addition to contacting any operators or parties paying royalties you may want to file an AFFIDAVIT AND NOTICE with the land records with the updated information.

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Why do I need to Make Sure My Information is Up-To-Date with County Records?

The County land records in Oklahoma are the only official location where oil companies, landmen, and others search to check title on property. If you are not listed there you might not receive notice of important issues that may affect your mineral rights. For instance, you may miss an opportunity to choose a higher royalty in a forced pooling.

What is Needed for the Affidavit?

The affidavit should have your current name and address. It should briefly explain why the item is being filed. The legal description where the minerals are located should be listed. Also if possible a reference to a previously filed document. Click here to request assistance.

Can I Search the Oklahoma County Records? Can I Search them Online?

You can also search most counties for records online. However, most counties provide a limited capability to search older documents. Online records search.

County records are open for inspection by the public at the County Courthouses. Contact the County Clerk’s office to determine their hours and limitations to access.

Begin your search here: County Clerk Information.

How do I Add or Remove Someone’s Name from a Mineral Deed

Adding Someone to a Mineral Deed

Often a mineral owner will want to change the deed or ownership by adding somebody else’s name to the title. If you are the owner of minerals and want to add an additional owner, you can do so by a simple quit claim deed. While the process is simple, the tax and other legal ramifications may make adding somebody else on a mineral deed ill-advised. There is often a better solution which protect you and avoids probate. There are simple documents that can be prepared to insure that your minerals pass to those you choose. Estate Planning for Mineral Interests

Removing Someone From a Deed:

If alive: That person would need need to sign a new deed that conveys their interest away. This can have adverse tax and other legal consequences.

If deceased: If the individual has died, an examination of the title will dictate whether and affidavit can resolve the issue or if a probate is necessary.

How to Change Name on a Oil and Gas Mineral Deed after the Death of Owner

If a mineral owner died a review review the title to determine whether he or she deeded the property into a trust or created a Transfer on Death Deed. If the deceased owned the property in joint tenancy or as a life estate. an affidavit and death certificate can resolve the title issue.

What If Mineral Owner Died, Is a Last Will Required to Probate?

No, if probate does not require that the owner had a Will. When there is no Will, the heirs inherit according to the intestacy statutes. For more information see Probate.

Are Mineral Interest Registries a Good Idea?

A private company that offers to register your minerals in their has no official sanction. While they may offer other services, those interested in your minerals will go the county clerk for those records. Many believe that registry services are a waste of money.

Limited scope representation:
1. Quality of Legal Work: We guarantee you will receive competent legal services based upon settled legal issues and standards of professionalism, and the highest ethical standards. We cannot guarantee any specific results.

  1. Limited representation. The representation is limited to providing you with certain legal forms, instructions on how to complete them, instructions regarding witnesses where necessary and what to do after signing. This does agreement does not contemplate comprehensive estate planning, tax, real estate,

3 Forms provided: You understand that creation of forms is one step and that forms must be signed. In some cases they also must be signed before a witness and/or a notary public. Witness and notary services are not provided unless a separate agreement is reached. We are also not responsible to determine whether you printed or executed the form.

  1. Conflict of Interest: The firm may withdraw from representation at any time if it believes that a conflict of interest exists. If you know of any conflict of interest during the course of our representation of you, please notify us promptly to discuss the need, if any, for independent counsel. You hereby specifically waive any and all conflicts of interests which you know of but do not disclose. You have asked me to assist you both in planning your estate and in preparing the necessary estate planning documents. Although it is customary for a married or domestic couple to employ the same attorney to assist them in such matters, the Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of Oklahma require me to inform you in writing of the following potential conflicts of interest:
  2.    A married may have conflicting interests concerning their property. If, as you request, I act as the attorney for both of you for your estate planning, I must try to balance all factors and cannot, therefore, act as an advocate for either of you. This balancing could end up favoring one of you to the detriment of the other.
  3.    To complete your estate planning, I must necessarily obtain confidential information from each of you. However, as between the two of you, I cannot keep that information confidential since I am representing both of you. Of course, anything either of you discuss with me is privileged from disclosure to third parties.
  4.    I may make recommendations which could affect each of your interest in your assets both during your lifetimes, after the first death and after the death of the survivor. These determinations could potentially affect income, property division and support provisions in the event of divorce.

Based on the foregoing, you must decide whether or not you want me to represent both of you in your estate planning. You are each, of course, welcome to have your own counsel for any part or all of the matters in which I would be acting; in addition, either of you may, at any time, forbid me from being involved in any way on behalf of the other.

  1. Process for Handling Disputes: You have the right to terminate our services at any time by notifying us in writing. You will be responsible to pay our fees for services performed through the date we receive such notice. If any dispute arises as to fees, costs or performance that we cannot resolve between us, the dispute shall be settled by mediation and, if necessary, legally binding arbitration in accordance with the Rules of the American Arbitration Association. Judgment upon an arbitration decision may be entered in any court otherwise having jurisdiction. You and we agree these methods shall be the sole remedy for any controversy or claim arising out of this agreement and expressly waive the right to file a lawsuit in any civil court against one another for such disputes, except to enforce an arbitration decision.

Estate Planning Challenges During Corona Virus Pandemic Overcome


Estate plans Generally require three steps:

  1. Planning
  2. Signing
  3. Completing

Normally this requires meetings with an attorney to design the plan. It can also involve the signing at the lawyer’s office with two witnesses and notary.

While this is preferred method of creating an Estate Plan, these steps can all be handled remotely and still be legally binding estate plan.

Click above to start Estate Planning Interview

1. Planning During Coronavirus Outbreak

My office is observing social distancing practices. Meetings are held on the telephone or through video conferencing. The online questionnaires are also useful. You will receive counseling regarding what documents and strategies are best in your circumstance. The plan will include one or more of the following:

An Advanced Healthcare Directive

(Living Will)

These are instructions to your family and doctors concerning the measures you want taken or not taken at the end of your life. You may choose to have treatment continued, restricted or discontinued.

Financial, Property and Healthcare Powers of Attorney

For many this is one of the most important documents to have in place.

This document allows somebody to act on your behalf if you become unable to do so for yourself due to incapacity, illness, hospitalization. It is also useful if you are unable to act for yourself if you are confined or physically unable to do so.

Last Will and Testament

This instructs how your property is to be distributed upon your death and who will be in charge. There is a way to create a valid Will even if you are unable to have witnesses or a notary.

Living Revocable Trust

A revocable trust can address many situations and avoid probate and add protections for your family. Trusts are popular because they are simple and they work. Also onerous probate procedures are avoided.

HIPAA Medical Privacy Release

This allows loved ones or anybody else you choose to have access to your medical information.

2. Signing Safely During Pandemic

We have developed a couple of ways to have your documents signed. Some documents do not require a witness or notary.

  1. Many documents can be signed in the comfort of your own home without any witnesses or notaries.
  2. We are also witnessing documents curbside at our office so that our clients never leave their vehicle.
  3. If you are unable to leave your home or facility a remote notary or mobile notary may be used. This can be done at a window with no contact.

3. Completing

Once the documents are properly executed, you will have instructions regarding your next steps. This may involve providing copies of documents to certain individuals such as doctors and family members. If a trust is created you may need to contact various companies to inform them that a trust was set up.

After the Crisis

Once the crisis has passed, many may want to revise their plan. Some may wish to re-sign certain documents before witnesses to take advantage of special statutes.

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