I need a lawyer

My husband died last year, and I have inherited his mineral rights in Hughes County. My lawyer in Pennsylvania has informed me that I have to file an ancillary probate in Hughes Co. OK. She hired a lawyer in Oklahoma last year, but he never did the work. After nine months she fired him and contacted another law office, but that lawyer just died. She has found another Oklahoma attorney, but he’s located in Oklahoma City, and I’m going to end up paying him a lot of money to drive back and forth from his office to the clerk’s office in Hughes County. Before I hire this attorney, I hope someone here can recommend a lawyer in Hughes Co. I know there must be a good lawyer in this county. Can anyone help me? Thank you for your help.

He did have a will and it has been probated here in Pennsylvania. I’m not a lawyer, but my lawyer here said that the document I need in Oklahoma amounts to an ancillary probate. She did say they use another name for it in OK. She said it has to be filed in person in the clerk’s office in Hughes County. She thinks I need a lawyer to do this. That’s why I was looking for the recommendation.

Try Harold Heath Law Offices in Holdenville, OK. 405-379-5445. His office did some work (a probate involving mineral rights actually) for me some years ago and I found them reliable. I believe your PA attorney was right in stating that you do need to have an ancillary probate done in OK in order to vest title to you as an heir. AOH will work only to get your inherited minerals leased, but once a well is drilled you’d likely need the ancillary probate done before the operator would begin paying you royalty (depends on the company, but most would require it). If you ever decide to sell, you’d also need an ancillary probate to make your title “marketable” to others.

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I’ve heard good things about Heath Law as well. Hughes County seat is right there in Holdenville as well.

I appreciate the recommendation. Unfortunately, Mr. Heath is the attorney who died. My attorney tried to get another lawyer from his office to do the work when she learned he had died. Her calls went unreturned even after several weeks and a number of attempts to make contact.

We used Jeff Whitesell, also in Holdenville. He did mention that Harold Heath had cancer and I’m sorry to learn of his passing. We were very pleased with Mr. Whitesell’s services, prices and response time.

KC11, That is helpful. Would you happen to have a phone number for Mr. Whitesell? I’ve searched for one online but haven’t been able to find it. Thank you!

I don’t have a phone number, but he works out of Heath Law Offices, so you should be able to reach him through them. His email is jeff@heathlawoffice.com.

That’s very helpful, KC11. I appreciate everyone’s information and assistance. Thank you all.–Gayle

Hi, I’m back at this again. Apparently Jeff Whitesell is no longer with the Heath Law Offices. Can anyone recommend another attorney in Holdenville? Or, does someone know where Mr. Whitesell has moved his practice? I know that my lawyer here tried to contact John Bacha (not sure of the spelling) at the Heath Law Office, but he didn’t return her calls. I am grateful for any help you all could provide.


Gayle, try Ken Chesnutt on his cell at 405-379-7490. I know he’s got a few things going on right now, so may/may not be taking on new clients. If he’s not, he might at least be able to give you a lead on where Jeff Whitesell went. PS - I just found this number in an old email Jeff Whitesell – 405-379-5435

Check out this firm in McAlester. They are 50 minutes from Holdenville. Nothing in life is free, but depending on the work you need done, time is money. Among other types of law, specialize in Oklahoma Oil and Gas law.


Here is a peer review from Lawyers dot com https://www.lawyers.com/bartlesville/oklahoma/robinett-king-1475973-f/#profile-peer-reviews

Thank you both for the information. I’ll pass it all along to my attorney here. I really don’t mind paying for a good attorney. I just want to keep the costs more reasonable, if I can. I very much appreciate your help.


Gayle, I have the identical situation with my mother in the same state and county. Attorney Bacha was recommended by the Register and wants a sizable retainer. I see that Attorney Whitesell is still on the firm letterhead. I am not sure what action to take. Wish someone could update on the status of the Heath law firm and whether anyone has actually dealt with Attorney Bacha.

Hi Diane,

I believe that the lawyer we went with is Ken Chesnutt. He is also in with the Heath Law Firm. Another member of the forum recommended him to me, and my lawyer was able to contact him and begin a working relationship. None of this is going to be cheap, but it has to be done. Good luck with the process–it takes awhile to get it all done.


Thank you, Gayle. I do not see his name on Heath letterhead and he has a different internet address. I will contact him if I don’t hear back from another recommended attorney. I don’t mind the expense either if someone at least does competent and expeditious work!

Mr. Chesnutt is not with Heath Law.

Sorry for your loss.
This should have been completed long ago. This is a matter most attorneys can handle on a flat fee. Even an Oklahoma City area attorney should be able to provide a flat fee quote. Once everything is signed the matter should be able to wrapped up in about 60-90 days.

Sorry I gave you some bad information, Diane. That’s what happens when I try to rely on my memory because I can’t find my notes. Ken Chesnutt’s phone number is 405-379-7490. I hope you find someone to help you soon. It is frustrating to have these delays.


No need to apologize. I have contacted Attorney Chesnutt and found him to be enormously helpful. My thanks both to KC11 and to you for affording me some light at the end of this tunnel!