18Nov 2015

The Roles are Flipped, You Need Information:

When you were young your parents found ways to protect and provide for you.  As your parents age they increasingly need your care.  You need answers including legal realities.  This article and the audio content describes the type of information you need to receive.  It also provides practical tips to create open communication.

Dynamics of Communicating with the “Silent Generation”

People born before 1946 are known as the “Silent Generation”.  Their world was shaped by the Great Depression, WWII, The Cold War and the Civil Rights Movement.  They are often described as less open with personal issues including health and finances.  They value simple concepts and rarely view themselves of wealthy regardless of their net worth.  “Waste not want not” means much to them. 

      Listen Here - Nicole Wipp
      015 The 5 Things Adult Children Of Aging Parents Need To Know NOW (Part 1) With Audrey Earhart - ElderCounsel - Nicole Wipp

 

29Oct 2019


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In Oklahoma mineral such as Oil and Gas are considered real estate.  Often individuals would sell the surface rights to their property but keep the mineral rights.  They did so because they realized that someday those property interests may become valuable.  Sometimes, many generations later oil and gas development occurs, and the decedents need to prove up their inheritance through probate to get paid. Probate is a way to get the royalties paid to you.

What exactly is Probate?

Probate is a legal process where a court determines that someone is deceased and who will receive his or her property after it is administered.

Is Probate Difficult?

A probate case can be very simple with the right attorney.  Basically, the client provides information about the person who died, who survived him or her, what property they owned and whether there were any creditors.  The attorney prepares the paperwork for the client to review and sign.

Do I have to Appear in Probate Court?

No, except in rare cases.  Often the client can receive and return various items by mail.  The attorney can handle any appearances.  The exception would be if the case becomes contested.

What if my Relative Didn’t Have a Will?

A probate case can be handled if the person did or did not have a Will.  If there was no Will, the distributions are determined by Oklahoma intestacy statutes.

How Long Does a Probate Take to Complete?

Often a “summary probate procedure” can be used.  This is available if any of the following apply: The person didn’t live in Oklahoma at the time of death; or The person has been dead more than 5 years; or The estate is valued at $200,000 or less.

In these cases, the time-frame is usually 60-80 days depending upon the availability of the court.  Otherwise, a standard probate may be required which can take six or more months to complete.

What if the Estate has been Probated in Another State?  What is an Ancillary Probate?

If the mineral rights are in Oklahoma, another state’s court does not have authority (jurisdiction) to transfer them.  Therefore, and Oklahoma probate is required, even if, there was a probate in another state.  Often an Ancillary Probate procedure can be used which shortens the timeline to about 50 days.  Procedure is available if the home state probate case is concluded and certain orders were filed there.[1]

How Much Does a Probate Cost?

Most mineral probate cases qualify for a flat rate of $3,400 which includes court costs, publication fees, mailing copying and attorney’s fees.  If there are multiple counties where minerals are located, there are additional recording fees of about $30 per county.

I Filed an Affidavit of Heirship, why do I Need a Probate?

In Oklahoma an Affidavit of Heirship can create title in the heirs.  However, there are many requirements, the biggest stumbling block  but only after it has been recorded at least ten years with the County Clerk were the minerals are located and during that 10-year period not instrument inconsistent with affidavit has been filed of record.  Therefore, few companies paying royalties are willing to rely upon an Affidavit of Heirship unless 10 years have passed.

What does Royalty Payments in Suspense or Payments on Hold Mean?

This means that the royalties or other payments have been calculated and set aside until the title of the person entitled to receive them has been established.  Often this means a probate.  A company may use a Division Order Analyst who determines what “title requirements” are needed to put royalties into “pay status”. 

My or My Relative’s Funds are held by the Oklahoma Treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Division or listed in the Mineral Owners Escrow Account.  How do I claim these?

Oklahoma State Treasurer’s Office/Unclaimed Property (405) 521-4275 or online www.ok.gov/treasurer/Unclaimed_Property/index.html.

They will inform you if a probate or an affidavit is sufficient to claim the funds.

What if I have more than one Estates, can they be joined in a single joint administration case?

Sometimes there is a need to take care of two or more estates in order to get minerals into the name of the rightful heirs.  While this may seem like a daunting task, it can often be accomplished in one case.  For example, if grandfather owned mineral and died, then his daughter died.  Neither had a probate done for their estates.  Oklahoma law allows multiple estates to be administered in one case.    

In this case the living grandchildren would inherit through their line.

What are the Advantages of Jointly Administered Probate Cases?

  • Court Costs:  The filing fee for a single or joint probate case is the same.
  • Publication Costs:  Probate cases require publication.  A joint probate is about ½ the cost of filing two separate probate cases.

[1] The requirement would be order admitting the will to probate and an order distributing the estate from the home state probate proceeding, or if the decedent died intestate, by attaching a duly certified copy of the order appointing the personal representative and an order distributing estate from the home state probate estate.  58 O.S. § 677.

03May 2019

May 3, 2019 Richard WinbladEstate Planning

This company is building a 186-mile pipeline through Gavin, Stephens, Coal, Pontotoc and Murray Counties Oklahoma. Oklahoma

You have Constitutional Rights when Eminent Domain is Claimed

They must pay:

Value of what is taken.

Value to diminished value to the remainder of the property

Expect the Easement to be Forever!

As with most proposed easements there are onerous terms that can prevent the owner from building ponds, changing grade, planting trees or shrubs. 

As in all such cases, if an agreement is reached, there will be a one-time payment and no opportunity to re-negotiate the terms.

Don’t be Afraid to Say “NO” to the Initial Offer, or any offer.

In a similar pipeline project, another company paid a range from $180 to $745 per rod with an average of a 50 foot easement. The price obtained depended upon the nature of the property and the negotiation skills of the landowner.

Permanent means permanent.

An easement may prevent you from constructing or the loss of:

Paved roads, Buildings, Fences, Ponds, Pools, Wind Farms, Utilities,

Expect everything in the easement to be clear cut away.

Loss of trees, erosion issues, loss of privacy.

If there is no power of Eminent Domain, they cannot force their way across your land.

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03May 2019
Don't let your rights get bulldozed.

This company is building a 186-mile pipeline through Grant, Garfield and Kingfisher County Oklahoma. Oklahoma

You have Constitutional Rights when Eminent Domain is Claimed

They must pay:

Value of what is taken.

Value to diminished value to the remainder of the property

Expect the Easement to be Forever!

As with most proposed easements there are onerous terms that can prevent the owner from building ponds, changing grade, planting trees or shrubs. 

As in all such cases, if an agreement is reached, there will be a one-time payment and no opportunity to re-negotiate the terms.

Don’t be Afraid to Say “NO” to the Initial Offer, or any offer.

In a similar pipeline project, another company paid a range from $180 to $745 per rod with an average of a 50 foot easement. The price obtained depended upon the nature of the property and the negotiation skills of the landowner.

Permanent means permanent.

An easement may prevent you from constructing or the loss of:

Paved roads, Buildings, Fences, Ponds, Pools, Wind Farms, Utilities,

Expect everything in the easement to be clear cut away.

Loss of trees, erosion issues, loss of privacy.

If there is no power of Eminent Domain, they cannot force their way across your land.

Share this:

07May 2019

Estate Planning Essentials:

Estate Plan:

An estate plan must be coordinated to provided desired protection and results.

Formal written instructions for your family, doctors, and others regarding your:

Property

Finances

Family

It also empowers individuals to act on your behalf. 

It keeps you in charge as long as you are alive and well.

It minimizes the need for guardianship or probate.

Powers of Attorney:

Grants somebody else to make decisions

Have access to information

Have ability to deal with property.

Have ability to make decisions

Financial Powers

Healthcare Powers

No POAs?  May require the appointment of a guardian to manage your affairs.

Advanced Healthcare Directives:

Instructs family and doctors about the care you want or don’t want at the end of your life.

It is followed when you are unable to speak for yourself.

Provides basic choices regarding lifesaving care, feeding tubes for food and hydration.

Can name a health care proxy to make other care decisions.

No Advanced Directive:  Can cause family disagreements concerning your care and end up in court.

Last Testament

Provides for payment of debts and expenses

Names a person to be in charge

Disposes of property left in your name

Requires a Court to admit it to probate

No Will (or other plan):  Probate property will be distributed according to intestacy statutes and involve cumbersome probate procedures. 

Trusts:

Avoids probate court

Can be changed

Can protect family from predators

Can protect assets from poor decisions

Provides inheritance

Works while you are alive

No Trust:  Probate may be required to transfer titles to properties.

Transfer on Death

Vehicles, Minerals & Land

Avoids probate

Easy to set up

Inexpensive to create

Negative: Possible Disinheritance

Beneficiary Designations:

Life Insurance & Annuities

IRA, 401k, 403b other Retirement

Bank / Credit Union Accounts & CDs

Disadvantages: Limited Contingency

Estate Planning involves a skill set that identifies how property is held and how it is passed upon death.  It also involves knowing what danger signs are ahead and how to plan for them.  Knowledge of the formalities of various documents is a necessity to an effective estate plan.

26Apr 2019

The Tom Stack Pipeline Project appears to be a gathering line in Blaine, Canadian and Kingfisher Counties.

As with most proposed easements there are onerous terms that can prevent the owner from building ponds, changing grade, planting trees or shrubs. 

As in all such cases, if an agreement is reached, there will be a one-time payment and no opportunity to re-negotiate the terms.

Don’t be Afraid to Say “NO” to the Initial Offer. Or any offer.

In a similar pipeline project, another company paid a range from $180 to $745 per rod with an average of a 50 foot easement. The price obtained depended upon the nature of the property and the negotiation skills of the landowner.

Permanent means permanent.

An easement may prevent you from constructing or the loss of:

Paved roads, Buildings, Fences, Ponds, Pools, Wind Farms, Utilities,

Expect everything in the easement to be clear cut away.

Loss of trees, erosion issues, loss of privacy.

If there is no power of Eminent Domain, they cannot force their way across your land.

What is the going price for a rod, Click Here?

08Mar 2019

Click Here to Search County Land Records

CountyAddressCity St ZipPhone
AdairPO Box 169Stilwell, OK   74960918 696-7198
Alfalfa300 South Grand Avenue;Cherokee, OK   73728(580) 596-3158
Atoka200 East Court Street Suite 201Atoka, OK   74525(580) 889-5157
BeaverPO Box 338Beaver, OK  73932(580) 625-3141
BeckhamPO Box 428Sayre, OK  73662(580) 625-3141
BlainePO Box 138Watonga, OK  73772(580) 623-5890
BryanPO Box 1789Durant, OK  74701(580) 924-2202
CaddoPO Box 68Anadarko, OK  73005(405) 247 – 6609
CanadianPO Box 458El Reno, OK  73036(405) 295-6130
CarterPO Box 1236Ardmore, OK  73402((918) 456-3171
Cherokee213 West Delaware Street, Room 200Tahlequah, OK   74464(918) 456-3171
Choctaw300 East Duke StreetHugo, OK  74743(580) 326-3778
CimarronPO Box 145Boise City, OK  73933 (580) 544-2251
Cleveland201 South Jones, Suite 210Norman, OK  73069 (405) 366-0240
Coal4 North Main, Suite 9Coalgate, OK  74538(580) 927-4015
Comanche315 SW 5th Street, Rm 304Lawton, OK 73501(580) 355-5214
Cotton301 North Broadway, 3rd FloorWalters, OK  73572(580) 875-3026
CraigPO Box 397Vinita, OK  74301(918) 256-2507
Creek317 E Lee Ave, Suite 100Sapulpa, OK  74006918-224-4084
CusterPO Box 300Arapaho, OK  73620(580) 323-1221
Delaware327 South 5th StJay, OK  74346(918) 253-4520
DeweyPO Box 368Taloga, OK  73667(918) 253-4520
EllisPO Box 197Arnett, OK  73832(580) 328-5361
GarfieldPO Box 1664Enid, OK 73702(580) 885-7301
Garvin201 West Grant St, 2nd floor,Pauls Valley, OK  73075 (405) 238-2772
GradyPO Box 1009Chickasha, OK  73023(405) 238-2772
Grant 112 E. GuthrieMedford, OK  73759(580) 395-2274
GreerPO Box 207‘Mangum, OK  73554(580) 782-3664
Harmon114 West Hollis StreetHollis, OK  73550(580) 688-3658
HarperPO Box 369Buffalo, OK  73834(580) 735-2012
Haskell 105 SE 3rd Unit CStigler, OK  74462(918) 967-2884
Hughes200 North Broadway, Suite 5Holdenville, OK   74848(405) 379-5487
JacksonPO Box 515Altus, OK  73522(580) 482-4070
Jefferson220 North Main Street, Room 103Waurika, OK  73573(580) 228-2029
Johnston403 West Main, Suite 101Tishomingo, OK  73460(580) 371-3184
KayPO Box 450Newkirk, OK  74647(580) 362-2537
Kingfisher101 South Main Street, Room 3Kingfisher, OK  73750(405) 375-3887
KiowaPO Box 73Hobart, OK  73651(580) 726-5286
Latimer109 North Central Street, Room 103Wilburton, OK  74578(918) 465-4002
Le FlorePO Box 218Poteau, OK  74953(918) 647-5738
LincolnPO Box 126Chandler, OK  74834(405) 258-1264
Logan301 East Harrison, Room 102Guthrie, OK  73044(405) 282-0266
Love 405 W. Main, Ste. 203Marietta, OK 73448(580) 276-3059
MajorPO Box 379Fairview, OK  73737(580) 227-4732
Marshall 219 PlazaMadill, OK 73446(580) 795-3220
MayesOne Court Place, Suite 120Pryor, OK  74361(918) 825-2426
McClainPO Box 629Purcell, OK  73080(405) 527-3360
McCurtainPO Box 1078Idabel, OK 74745(580) 286-2370
McIntoshPO Box 110Eufaula, OK  74432(918) 689-2741
MurrayPO Box 442Sulphur, OK  73086(580) 622-3920
MuskogeePO Box 1008Muskogee, OK  74402(918) 682-7781
Noble300 Courthouse Drive – #11Perry, OK  73077(580) 336-2141
Nowata229 North Maple StreetNowata, OK  74048(918) 273-2480
OkfuskeePO Box 108Okemah, OK  74859(918) 623-1724
Oklahoma320 Robert South Kerr, Room 203Oklahoma City, OK  73102405-713-1540
OkmulgeePO Box 904Okmulgee, OK  74447(918) 756-0788
OsagePO Box 87Pawhuska, OK  74056(918) 287-3136
Ottawa102 East Central Avenue, Suite 103Miami, OK   74354(918) 542-3332
Pawnee500 Harrison Street, Room 202Pawnee, OK  74058(918) 762-2732
Payne315 West 6th Street, Suite 202Stillwater, OK  74074(405) 747-8310
PittsburgPO Box 3304McAlester, OK  74502(918) 423-6865
Pontotoc301 S. BroadwayAda, OK  74820(918) 423-6865
Pottawatomie325 North BroadwayShawnee, OK  74802(405)273-8222
Pushmataha302 Southwest B StreetAntlers, OK  74523(580) 298-3626
Roger MillsPO Box 708Cheyenne, OK  73628(580) 497-3395
Rogers200 S. Lynn Riggs Blvd.Claremore, OK  74017(918) 923-4796
SeminolePO Box 1180Wewoka, OK  74884(405) 257-2501
Sequoyah120 East Chickasaw StreetSallisaw, OK  74955(918) 775-4516
Stephens101 South 11th Street, Suite 203Duncan, OK  73533(580) 255-0977
TexasPO Box 197Guymon, OK  73942(580) 338-3233
TillmanPO Box 992Frederick, OK  73542(580) 335-3421
Tulsa500 South Denver, 2nd FloorTulsa, OK  74103918-596-5801
WagonerPO Box 156Wagoner, OK  74477918-485-2216
Washington420 South Johnstone, Suite 100Bartlesville, OK  74003(918) 337-2840
WashitaPO Box 380Cordell, OK  73632(580) 832-3548 
WoodsPO Box 386Alva, OK  73717(580) 327-0942
12Feb 2019

The Question Should be “Am I Getting the Fairest Offer”

Think about it a Rod is a unit of measure of 16.5 feet. That is linear feet. When an easement is sought by negotiation or by eminent domain, they are not seeking a line. Typically, they are seeking a zone with the rod merely as the middle. For example, a rod with a 50′ easement zone requires 825 square feet. If an easement is 50 rods long, that is almost an acre.

In a recent case, a pipeline company paid some owners $180 per rod and others $767 per rod for the same project. The variance depended greatly upon the use of the property (residential vs. agricultural) and the ability of the owner to negotiate.

An Easement is a Forbidden Zone

The easement prevents you from using your property as you like or need to. For example, it can prevent you from planting trees, shrubs, or placing buildings. It can also forbid you from creating pond, lake or diverting drainage.

An Easement Prevents Development

Aside from normal operations, an easement may render your property unsuitable for certain types of development such as retail, operations expansion, wind farm or other opportunities.

What Will it Cost Them if I Refuse?

Don’t be afraid to say no!

If a company does not have the power of eminent domain, the cost is what is required to go around you?

Even a company with the power of eminent domain will face substantial expenses to obtain court intervention. And they still must pay you.

When and How Will the Easement Terminate?

Pipeline companies want a vague description of when and how an easement will terminate. Whenever possible, the owner should negotiate these terms.

Removal or Abandon in Place?

Easements often allow a company to abandon the pipeline in place. This gives the owner problems later. If the pipeline transported any hazardous materials the cost to remove may be very high.



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Additional Resources: Texas Pipeline Easement Checklist

11Feb 2019

Navigator SMS Pipeline Project stretching from Calumet in Canadian County, through Kingfisher County and eventually finishing in Cushing in Logan County.  The paperwork describes this as phase 1.  The image is a preliminary plan showing the route.

As with most proposed easements there are onerous terms that can prevent the owner from building ponds, changing grade, planting trees or shrubs.  They also ask the owner to warranty title.  So far, materials have not claimed that Navigator has the right of eminent domain for this project.

Don’t be Afraid to Say “NO” to the Initial Offer.

In a similar pipeline project, another company paid a range from $180 to $745 per rod with an average of a 50 foot easement. The price obtained depended upon the nature of the property and the negotiation skills of the landowner.

What if They Claim that My Property can be Taken by Eminent Domain?

Even if the company has the ability to to use Eminent Domain, you as the the landowner have the Constitutional Protection under the 5th Amendment for just compensation. Your property cannot be taken without compensation even if you are taken to court.

Often the initial offer is not the best deal in these types of situations.

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