Making Money From Your Mineral Rights

People who are lucky enough to own land containing valuable mineral deposits should always consult with a mineral rights broker before making any decisions about selling their mineral rights. That’s a lot of times to say the word “mineral,” but it’s true. Much like any other kind of auction, the first bid is going to be low. People who own mineral rights may be easily swept off their feet by the first offer that comes their way, but more likely than not, that offer is significantly less than what they could get elsewhere.

In Texas, the mineral estate and surface estate are understood to be two separate things. This means that while most of the time, the owners of the surface estate (the land that you can see) also own the mineral estate (the mineral deposits under the land), the mineral estate can be sold or rented separately from the surface estate. This has the tendency to lead to conflict and confusion over who actually owns what and who has access to the mineral estate.

When it’s really confusing, a lawyer who specializes in mineral, oil, and gas rights is usually required to help sort out the situation. Complicated mineral estate situations can end up in court, and the party that comes out victorious may need further help if they’re looking to sell or lease their newly won mineral rights. 

Austin-based mineral rights brokers at this firm say that many of their clients come to them after they’ve already been made an offer for their mineral rights. These people are looking for guidance on what to do, and their first question is always “how much are my mineral rights worth?” The answer to that question is dependent, of course, on how much people are willing to pay. 

In 2019, someone could make a lot of money selling their mineral rights, and they could make it quickly. However, that might not always be the case. It is likely a good idea to sell while the market is hot instead of waiting for it to get even better, because it might never improve to the levels you want it to be at? No one knows for sure what will happen in a few years or even a few months’ time, so if you need cash soon, and you’re sitting on a valuable mineral estate, you may want to consider selling. 

The emergence of cleaner, renewable sources of fuel and energy are likely to push nonrenewable coal and oil out of the picture at some point in the near future, meaning that the price of mineral rights will decrease. Because of this, it’s better to sell soon while there’s a competitive market than to wait and miss out on making bank.

What to Do If You’re Pulled Over

The past few years have seen an increase in coverage of police misconduct. These range from unarmed killings to planting evidence on dead bodies. While this isn’t to say that all cops are even most cops are bad, it certainly makes sense that a lot of us get nervous whenever we’re pulled over!

Routine traffic stops are meant to be quick and easy. Still, I find myself clenching onto my steering wheel whenever I wait for the cop to approach my car! Of course, I had to think of a mental checklist of things I could do to make the stop end as smoothly as possible. Here are just a few of the things I do to put my mind at ease.

Have everything neatly organized

Any tensions that exist are only going to intensify if the cop has to wait for you to search around for your license and registration. Having these documents in your glove compartment means that you won’t waste the cop’s time by fumbling around for something that is buried in your floorboard.

Narrate everything that you’re doing

A miscommunication between a cop and a driver can be – and has been – fatal. If you’re reaching for a document or pulling out your wallet, make sure the officer knows what you are doing. It assures them that you’re not doing anything risky, and can help you in court if the officer tries to say he felt threatened.

Stay calm

It’s totally normal to be scared, but we all act a little odd when we’re nervous. If you’re a nervous talker, you may end up digging yourself into a deeper hole when dealing with a cop. Take a deep breath and don’t give any information that may be irrelevant.

Nerves also make us look suspicious. Our body language looks pretty similar when we’re nervous or guilty. We may have jerky movements, tight grips on our steering wheel, or we may even start sweating!

If a cop thinks you “look guilty,” he may take this as a sign to further search your car, even if you haven’t done anything wrong. This is a major hassle for both parties that’s often more trouble than it is worth. If they do decide to search your car, remain calm and don’t let your nerves take over while you’re waiting.

Record everything

In most states, it’s your right to have a recording of any and all interactions that may take place between you and a cop. A phone recording can be useful, but it can often be pulled out after any issue has started. Dashcams are great because they are constantly rolling and don’t require anyone to hold them- perfect for someone who is in a conversation with a cop.

If you need evidence in court for any reason, a dashcam can do wonders. The lawyers at Evans Moore, LLC would agree that you should use any evidence you have to defend yourself in legal situations. When the time comes, a recording of the incident may make or break your case.

The Ins and Outs of Embezzlement Litigation

This spring, one of my closest friends is studying for the exams to become a Certified Public Accountant, and we often go to coffee shops together for him to study and for me to read. We often take chat breaks, and I talk about my book while he talks about what he’s learning. Recently, we had a lengthy discussion about fraud and the role of an auditor in detecting fraud. Apparently, embezzlement is a big issue when employees have access to the assets of the business they work for. I did not really understand what embezzlement is, so I decided to do some research. During my research, I found the website for Bruno Law Offices, which specializes in defending people that are accused of embezzlement. There was quite a bit of interesting information regarding the litigation of these cases.

Embezzlement is a criminal offense, and it is more complex than just stealing money from your employer. Embezzlement happens when a person that is responsible for another person’s property uses that property for personal gain, and it’s not necessarily the same as theft. To embezzle, you need to be a custodian of assets, which means that you are not the owner of the assets but you have legal access to the asset and are trusted with the assets control. Often the offender has a fiduciary responsibility to the owner, and pre-meditation must exist for embezzlement to be prosecuted. It cannot be accidental. The property does not have to be tangible to be embezzled, either. Intangible property like trademarks or securities can be wrongfully acquired or used by a custodian to commit embezzlement.

Typically, sentencing for embezzlement depends on the value of the assets embezzled before being caught. The value of the property can change the crime from a misdemeanor to a felony depending on the type of property embezzled. If you steal less than five hundred dollars, the punishment is less than a year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines, but if you embezzle over a million dollars, it becomes a felony and is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and $25,000 in fines. There are additional consequences that are not inflicted by the courts that include the damage to a person’s reputation and their ability to be hired in the future.

Luckily for the accused, there are a variety of defenses that lawyers can use to defend their clients from embezzlement charges. An insufficient evidence defense can cause the charges to be dropped. Also, if you are pressured to commit a crime because of perceived harm, you can use the duress defense and transfer the blame to another party. If the accused is bated into committing embezzlement by the government or law enforcement, a lawyer can use the entrapment defense to absolve their victim of the wrongdoing. There are several other complicated defenses that lawyers can use to defend their clients that are charged with embezzlement. Since embezzlement is a criminal offense, the burden of proof is on the prosecution, so if any of these defense prevent the prosecution from proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, you can avoid punishment for embezzlement.

Investigating Everything Your Dentist Is Putting In Your Mouth

I tend to zone out a bit in the dental chair. Unless there’s serious work being done, it’s mostly just a matter of passing the time. Once I’ve read all the posters on the wall and the ceiling and thought through every movie I’ve seen recently, I still often have a bit of time to kill. With my mouth open, there’s little chance of a decent conversation, so I often get to thinking about those tools that end up in my mouth, cleaning and fixing my teeth.

What are those things?

Thankfully, I didn’t have to spend much time researching the answer. Babylon Dental Care did it for me.

A lot of the tools are as obvious as you think. There’s the suction device to clean out saliva and spray water. There’s the mouth mirror to give the dentist a better view of what’s going on in there at every angle. There’s the lead smock you wear when getting X-Rays, which helps you avoid too much radiation.

Then there are a whole set of tools that do the actual scraping and cleaning for you. Those include a whole series of probes, scalers, and curettes, which get used for different purposes depending on what’s going on with your tooth.

Once you get beyond the basic cleaning, though, it gets more interesting. You may get a mold of your teeth that provides the dentist with an accurate cast of your teeth so they can see exactly what’s going on. Serious dental work will include a syringe and local anesthetic to numb you and help you avoid pain.

Then you have drills that can remove decay and a spoon excavator that can remove soft decay. Finally, you might see a burnisher, which will remove scratches to your tooth.

Really, that’s about it. The thing is, even knowing the names and general purposes of all those objects doesn’t quite tell you how to use them. But, I suppose that’s why you need a quality dental education to take care of someone’s teeth.

Still, it’s interesting to have a little insight into the tools and the purposes of those tools while you’re sitting in that chair next time. It might allow you to pay more attention to what your dental assistant or dentist is doing. In my experience, it made the time go by faster because I was much more engaged, thinking about the choices my dentist was making and how they were using the tools I now recognized.

It’s fascinating, and it almost makes me want to really dig into dental work to get a more profound understanding of what those tools are capable of. Almost. I think I’ll probably let the professionals handle the really complicated stuff. For now, I’ll just stick to what I know and get back to reading the posters in the room.

Fire Hazards That May Spell Disaster for Your Home

Residential fires are the worst. They put your house at risk of damages and your loved ones at risk of injuries and deaths – all of which have their own financial and personal difficulty equivalents. You may have a sound insurance policy, but according to the website of K2 Consulting & Services, LLC, there are instances where insurance companies don’t really give the full amount you deserve, so you are never fully financially secured by your insurance.

In other words, preventing house fires is still better than being negligent and relying solely on your insurance policy. To prevent house fires, the first things you should know are the hazards that can result into fires.

Appliances

Appliances, especially those that involve fire and heat like kitchenware, are some of the leading causes of house fires. This is especially true when negligence has been involved. For example, a resident can leave the stove open or a manufacturer can put a defective product into the market.

Combustible Materials

Items that may catch fire are particularly dangerous when they are near fire or heat sources, such as the appliances mentioned earlier. In the kitchen, these materials may include mittens and even rags. In other parts of the house, it can range from curtains and mattresses to piles of papers and even leaves from indoor plants.

Equipment

Electronic devices make your house vulnerable to fires, and these electronic devices are not limited to house appliances, as they may also include equipment such as desktops, laptops, tablets, printers, and even mobile phones. Those with power supplies and batteries are particularly hazardous.

Fire Sources

Some of the most obvious causes of fires are direct fire sources, such as candles, stoves, and even lighters and matches. Usually, house fires from direct fire sources occur because of negligence as well, like when candles are left unattended or children are unsupervised and playing with fire.

Wiring Systems

If direct fire sources are the most obvious, wiring problems are perhaps the least. This is because they are not always directly associated with fire, even though in their own ways they can actually be a fire source. Faulty wiring systems, and even overloaded extension cords and defective wires from appliances, can result into the most devastating house fires.