Blog

Estate PlanningWills and Estates

Gifts of Land and Mineral Interests and Gift Tax Valuation

Land and mineral interest ownership presents special opportunities for long-term, multi-generational income and asset growth. To realize the full potential of these opportunities, careful planning and management decisions must be taken into account when transferring these assets to future generations. A key estate planning objective is the reduction of any possible tax burdens placed on…

Estate PlanningProbate and its Alternatives

The Trust as a Valuable Estate Planning Tool for Mineral Owners

Trusts have long been a mainstay for estate planning because the various types of trusts and their features provide increased flexibility and control. Unlike a will, a trust can allow you to avoid probate as well as structure the management of assets for yourself and your loved ones, gain better control over distribution of your…

Estate PlanningProbate and its Alternatives

The Beneficiary Deed as a Valuable Estate Planning Tool for Mineral Owners

In this time of uncertainty, real property owners, including owners of mineral interests, are feeling an increased responsibility to set their estates in order. Probate proceedings can be expensive and time-consuming for loved ones, so many people are turning to alternative estate planning tools, like revocable trusts,1 to transfer real property outside of probate. Another…

Energy Title LawTitle Examination

Riparian Land Title: Navigating Ownership Through Uncharted Waters – Part 3

Part III of III: The Effect of Avulsion on Riparian Mineral Ownership Unlike the gradual processes of accretion, reliction, and erosion, discussed in the preceding post for this series, avulsion is a “sudden inundation or sweeping away of land resulting from a sudden change in the course of a waterbody.” Eaton v. Francis, 484 P.2d…

Energy Title LawTitle Examination

Riparian Land Title: Navigating Ownership Through Uncharted Waters – Part 2

Part II of III: How do changes in the boundaries of bodies of water affect mineral ownership? As discussed in Part I, grantees of riparian land conveyances take to the center of the non-navigable river, while the state owns the minerals underlying navigable bodies of water up to their ordinary high watermarks. Over time, however,…

Energy Title LawTitle Examination

Riparian Land Title: Navigating Ownership Through Uncharted Waters – Part 1

Part I of III: Ownership Underlying Navigable and Non-Navigable Water Bodies With nearly 265,000 square miles of water, the United States offers a diverse landscape. Inevitably, some of the largest bodies of water are located in targeted areas for oil and gas drilling. Texas, for example, contains over 7,300 square miles of water, while North…

Energy Title LawOil and Gas News

WOGCC Responds to Increasing Number of APDs with New Rule

The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (“WOGCC” or “Commission”) received more than 22,000 Applications for Permit to Drill (“APDs”) in 2018 and far surpassed that number with more than 30,000 permit applications in 2019. The influx of APDs was caused by operators looking to lock up acreage. In response to the flood of applications,…

Energy Title LawTitle Examination

The Impact of Acreage Determinations On Pre-Existing Oil and Gas Leases

Operators today have access to geographic information that far outstrips the information once commonly available.  County Assessor’s records are routinely linked through GIS (Geographic Information Services) to provide interactive maps that allow for detailed and accurate mapping and measurement.  At the same time, mineral ownership in large subdivisions has created the need for accurate acreage…