Things to accomplish during Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Lockdowns

Many of us find ourselves at home or unable to work as usual during the social distancing imposed to stem the spread of the Coronavirus. From an attorney’s point of view here are a few things you should do during this period.

Update Addresses / Name Changes:

If your address or name has changed it is a good idea that you file this information with the county land records in each county in which you have a mineral interest. This can be a simple affidavit but it is a good idea to include legal descriptions to insure proper indexing. This is important whether or not you are currently receiving royalties.

Review Estate Plans:

Too often people fail to update their estate plan to accomplish their goals. Considerable headache and expense can be avoided by creating or updating an estate plan.

Trusts avoid probate but only for property properly titled. All too often individuals forget to deed minerals into their trusts. This is especially common when trusts are created in one state, but the minerals are owned in another.

Transfer on Death Deeds for those who have not created a Trust, a Transfer on Death Deed may be a great option. While they vary from state to state, a TOD generally avoids probate and is simple to set up. Understanding them is important so visit with an attorney in the state where the minerals are located. These are not for every situation.

**Powers of Attorney: ** If you become incapacitated you will need someone who has the authority to act on your behalf. If you don’t have a solid power of attorney nobody can manage or lease your minerals without a court order.

Wills do require probate but are relatively inexpensive to set up. If you have no Will your heirs will be stuck with intestacy statutes.

**Organize: ** Create a system that identifies where your minerals are located, the amount of minerals owned, leases and companies who are currently paying. Not only will this help you, but in the event of incapacity or death this makes management immensely easier for the family.

6 Likes

Excellent ideas. I was also thinking that this is a great time to get caught up on a few things. -get caught up on your mineral paperwork.

-check to see if you are getting paid on all your wells.

-check to see that if your wells are being paid according to the terms of your leases and Division Orders.

-send certified letters to companies that owe you interest for late payments.

-get your files in order (if folks are interested, we can start a topic along those lines-both paper files and digital files).

-make a list of all the useful online sites that are available (several are on the forum).

-take time to talk to your family about your mineral holdings-especially the next generation. Explain what you have and where it came from, where your important files are and how to access them, how it fits into your family values, how it fits into your stewardship of the gifts you have been given, how it fits into your estate plan, etc.

-take time to reconnect with people you love and tell them that you love them

-take time to reconnect with people that you need to have restoration with…

My thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this unique and challenging time. My faith gives me great peace and hope in times of trouble. I hope that you are sustained as well.

6 Likes