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Notable Legislation from the 85th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature

August 31 2017

Notable Legislation from the 85th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature

Contributor: Hillary Holdsworth

The Texas Legislature’s 85th Regular Session wrapped back on May 29, 2017, and during the 140-day period, the House and Senate passed numerous bills set to take effect on Friday, September 1. Below are links to and a brief summary of some of the legislation that may be of special interest in Oil and Gas, Title, Real Estate, Probate and other areas of Texas law.

·  Senate Bill 1249

o  Codifies the process for adversely possessing against a cotenant heir, consisting of a 10-year possession period and a 5-year waiting period.

·  Senate Bill 2150

o  Amends the provisions of a transfer on death deed related to the survival of designated beneficiaries.

·  House Bill 2271

o  Amended numerous sections of the Estates and Property Codes, including increasing the size of the estate for which a small estate affidavit may be used from $50,000 to $75,000.

·  House Bill 1974

o  Enumerates additional powers that an agent may exercise under a durable power of attorney with respect to the land, mineral and royalty interests of the principal. The agent may also establish the property deemed to be the principal’s homestead. It also requires the acceptance of a power of attorney in most situations.

·  House Bill 1470

o  Amends the powers and responsibilities of a trustee in a public sale of residential real property, including the ability to delegate some duties to an attorney.

Also of note are the changes to notary law in Texas passed in House Bill 1217. Beginning on July 1, 2018, an online notary public may notarize the acknowledgment of an individual who appears via two-way video and audio conference technology. Becoming an online notary public will require a separate application, and the delay in the bill’s enactment is to allow the Texas Secretary of State additional time to implement and refine this process.

Do you want to stay up-to-date on what Texas and Ohio courts are saying? Mazurek & Holliday, P.C. publishes an annual Case Law Update each spring, covering notable oil and gas cases decided throughout the previous year. Email info@mhenergylaw.com to be added to our mailing list.