America’s conversation place for mineral owners
I am the executor of my brother’s estate. He lived and passed away in Florida but hadmineral rights in 13 different states, Florida not one of them. My brother died with a will and left his interests in these mineral rights to myself and my other 3 siblings…all of us with various percentages of those mineral rights.
In 2014 I bought out my other siblings from any proceeds from the will, including the mineral rights.
They were tired of waiting and since my original percentage was 50% they were eager to get paid and finished with the whole probate process. In the probate court in Florida documents were recorded that showed the monies that they each received along with the waivers that they signed leaving me the sole beneficiary.
These interests are mostly royalty interests but there are some working interests as well.
They vary in annual income from $20/year to thousands a year. Most are unfortunately of the lower amount. (Fractionalized). From 2006 to the present around 100 different operators have sent a check to either my brother or to the estate.
I have a couple of questions:
A. To transfer all of these interests ( 13 states and numerous counties ) should I sell the extremely marginal holdings to save on fees. ( legal and/or court filings )
B. will I need to hire an attorney(s) in order to transfer these to my name. In this case would the expense outweigh me just selling them to companies trying to acquire. This is not what I want to do but the attorney fees could add up to 5 or more years of earnings
C. If I do go the route of transferring the mineral rights should I set up an LLC so that when I pass my 2 daughters can go through this in a much easier fashion than me.
D. These mineral rights have been passed down for a few generations from a wealthy oil family but with large families and the subsequent heirs, over time fractionalized mineral rights are unavoidable.
E. Does anyone know of any professional that can help me without bankrupting the Estate? At this point, due to the oil crash of 2014, the Estate may be bringing in $20,000 year tops. Hiring an attorney to do all of this could be very expensive…Can I save money by doing a lot of this myself
States that mineral rights exist are:
For some states (i.e. Texas) filing the probate will vest title in your name and at that point you can (and should) transfer title to an LLC or Trust. Other states (i.e. Oklahoma) are more complicated because they will not recognize a probate done in Florida. So depending on the value of the properties there you may need to file and ancillary probate in OK (usually $2-3K).
I'd be more than happy to share what I know and help where I can, add me as a friend and we can go from there.
What does "vest title in your name mean?" Is the probate document the thing that transfers title or conveys it to the heir? A Texas probate attorney told me that there also has to be a document that conveys the title.
Thanks M Holmes...will do