Energy & Utilities Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

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Treachery of the Untrustworthy Trustee

In 2006, Fred Houston created the Fred L. Houston Trust and placed into it the Tenneco lease, which had been producing since 1974. Ms. Williams was the trustee. The trust instrument declared the trust “… irrevocable and may...more

This is Why You Need a Will

Let’s talk title disputes, especially ones between those with record title and those claiming title by possession: - They are complicated (There were 229 defendants in today’s case) - They happen when there is a lot...more

McNees Insights - Estate Planning

In This Issue: Who Gets Your IRA? – Six Common Mistakes; Estate Planning for Digital Assets; and Post-Production Issues and Oil & Gas Leases. Excerpt from Who Gets Your IRA? – Six Common Mistakes: Do you...more

Distributions From A Texas Trust Deemed Separate Property

Conventional wisdom is that a spouse’s earnings from separate property are community property. But it’s not that simple. In Benavides v. Mathis a Texas court denied wife Leticia’s claim to one-half of the income derived from...more

Energy Newsletter - September 2013

In This Issue: - New Rule Proposed By OSHA Regarding Silica Exposure Likely To Impact Fracking And Increase Risk Of Litigation - Texas Supreme Court Reaffirms Minerals Estate's Superior Rights -...more

Title Troubles In Texas, North Dakota And Montana: Conveyances To “Blind Trusts”

The Title Question - Your title examiner often encounters a conveyance to an individual “as Trustee” with no Trust specified in the instrument....more

Tax Law Alert: The 2nd Special Session of the 2013 Washington Legislature Adjourned on June 29

The 2nd Special Session of the 2013 Legislature adjourned sine die on June 29, 2013. The accomplishment of this session was passage of a state budget, which had eluded state legislators through the Regular Session that ended...more

Yours, Mine or Ours? Morgan Clarifies Surface Versus Mineral Ownership in W.Va.

On June 13, 2013, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals (WVSCA) issued its decision in Faith United Methodist Church & Cemetery of Terra Alta, et al. v. Morgan, No. 12-0080, setting forth a clear definition of the term...more

Oil And Gas Law Insight: With Oil Reserves Estimate Doubled In Williston Basin, Opportunities For Growth Abound

The U.S. Geological Survey has doubled its previous estimate of the amount of recoverable oil within the Williston Basin to 7.4 billion barrels. While the Bakken formation is still a star in the play, the potential of the...more

March 2013 Federal Budget Provisions Concerning Pipeline Abandonment Trusts

Overview - The March 21, 2013 Federal Budget changed the tax law applicable to the pipeline abandonment trust (Trust) structure that has been submitted to the National Energy Board (NEB) as the proposed mechanism for...more

Tax Communiqué: Highlights from the Budget 2013

Budget 2013 was tabled on March 21, 2013. Heenan Blaikie’s National Tax Group has prepared the following overview of some of the more significant tax-related measures....more

Washington Insight - Special Edition: Congress Steps Away From Fiscal Cliff

For months in Washington, and beyond, attention has been focused on the "fiscal cliff" -- the combination of the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and the looming budget cuts referred to as "sequestration." Negotiations led by...more

President Obama Signs "Fiscal Cliff" Legislation into Law

As you likely have heard, the President signed the American Taxpayer Relief Act (H.R. 8) (the "Act") on January 2, 2013. The Act, popularly known as the "fiscal cliff" legislation, permanently extends the Bush era tax cuts...more

Legal Alert: Discounting of Capital Credits of Deceased Members Upheld in North Carolina

On August 8, 2012, the North Carolina Business Court held that electric cooperatives may lawfully discount capital credits of deceased members when they are retired early. The court also held that electric cooperatives do not...more

No Early Appeal on the New Mexico Public Trust Climate Case

For those of you following the public trust climate litigation in New Mexico, Judge Sarah Singleton has now issued a written decision denying the state’s motion to dismiss the case. There is no discussion of the issues, but...more

Insights - Spring 2012

In This Issue: JOBS Act: Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act; Fracking: Ohio’s New Oil and Gas Boom; 2012 Estate Planning; American Airlines: Who’s Flying the Plane? Labor Law Update; S Corporations; Blow to Method...more

Gifting and Marcellus Shale

When estate planning lawyers discuss gifting as an estate planning strategy with clients, there are a few very important components to this discussion that must be reviewed in order to most effectively leverage gifting as an...more

McNees Insights -- December 2011

IN THIS ISSUE: Year-End Tax Planning 2011; Planning and Paying for Long-Term Care; and Gifting and Marcellus Shale. Excerpt from Year-End Tax Planning 2011 Year-end tax planning is especially challenging this year...more

Gas Rights Owners Need To Begin To Think Like Business

Landowners who are fortunate enough to have property overlying the Marcellus Shale formation are realizing significant economic transformations. They and their heirs can look forward to a lease bonus payment followed by...more

Real Estate, Oil & Gas and Estate Planning: Oil & Gas Fundamentals For Family Law Practitioners

In This Presentation: Typical Documents To Be Reviewed: Deed; Mineral Deed; Mineral Reservation; Royalty; Lease; Seismic Permit; and, Pipeline Right-of-way. Who owns the minerals: Title Opinion; Title Insurance;...more

McNees Insights-Asset Planning and Federal Taxation- Fall 2010

IN THIS ISSUE: What is Happening with the Federal Estate Tax?- Estate Planning and Marcellus Shale- Using IRA Proceeds to Invest in Real Estate and Other Alternative Investment Vehicles. Please see full newsletter below...more

Estate Planning and Marcellus Shale

It seems as though scarcely a day goes by without some commentary surrounding the Marcellus Shale formation and the extraction of the natural gas contained therein. However, in most of the articles, blogs, and postings, very...more

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