My father recently past. All of his interests and real estate and personal property, well it states “everything” has been in a family trust for ten years. I am named the sole trustee. The trust owns mineral rights in Garvin County, OK. As trustee I’m instructed to split everything equally between my sister and I. All I have is a legal description of the location of the mineral rights. But nothing else that I’ve yet found in his papers.I’m fairly certain there is an existing lease. Can anyone help me on this issue? I don’t know where to start.
My recommendation would be to contact an attorney. Trusts can be very complicated legal documents and as trustee you have an obligation to administer it per its terms. An attorney will be able to verify that the transfer is done correctly and pursuant to the trust.
Search https://okcountyrecords.com/ by his name in Garvin County. That should give you the legal.
Welcome to the community. Also sorry for your loss. The first step is to determine whether your father deeded the minerals into the trust, you can search the last name Easley. This link may help. Click here Then you would follow the trust instructions. If it is a simple disbursement trust then you would likely need a trustee’s deed and affidavit of successor trustee. An Oklahoma licensed attorney should handle that.
However, often individuals who set up a trust fail to deed property into the trust. In that case, there is probably a Will that that instructs the court to pour the assets into the trust.
You should also determine if there are any active wells, leases or pooling orders involved. If so, the companies responsible for paying royalties should be informed of the transfers from the trust. A landman or an attorney can assist with that.
Once you have the legal work done, then all beneficiaries of the trust need to make sure that the documents are filed properly in Garvin County or any other counties with mineral rights. Find out (we can help you if you have a description) if you have producing wells. Then you need to contact the operators to have the change of address and names converted and royalties re-directed to the new heirs.
You need an experienced trust attorney for a number of reasons. It is unlikely all your father’s property was transferred to trust prior to his death so there may be probate issues to resolve. The trust became at your father’s death an administrative trust for federal income tax purposes and needs its own employer identification number. Does the trust leave the property to the beneficiaries outright or create a separate trust for each child? The trust will need to file a form 1041 for each year it is in existence. Has your father his income tax return for 2019? A final income tax return will need to be filed for gin for 2020. You will want to obtain a receipt and release from your sister for your administration of the trust.
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