Heirship and information

My mom died fall of 2018 (I cared for her at home the whole time, it was Alzheimers). She had mineral rights checks coming from Comstock for royalties in DeSoto and Caddo counties. Not much, but all that was left from her grandpa, Arthur Brewer’s exploration in the first half of the 20th century. Comstock wants us to probate her will in LA (she had a trust with a pour over will, but they won’t just send the checks to the trust – my father is still alive and the trust is very much in existence). They have placed her royalties (albeit very small) in death suspension. Our attorney (who wrote my parents’ trust) isn’t convinced we need to probate in LA (she died in Virginia where she was a resident). He said the FIRST thing we have to do is find out what exactly we have. Do you know if the DeSoto and Caddo Parish clerks are helpful if you call and ask for deed information? Our county clerks here in Albemarle County Virginia are THE WORST and won’t talk to anyone unless they’re a lawyer. Do you think I should call Comstock first and see how much is held in suspension and see if they can give me more plat information? I’m not thrilled with the very minimal information I’ve gotten from them thus far. Any help appreciated. Our attorney knows nothing about mineral rights, is an Iowa lawyer (where my parents lived for 40 years). We don’t have the money to inclination to hire an LA attorney at this point until we find out what we are dealing with. Any advice appreciated.

This is a oft told tale. Trust created without consideration of the laws of the state where minerals are held. This often results in the need for an avoidable probate.

The company holding the funds in suspense should be able to provide the title requirements needed to release the funds. Sometime they will provide information to determine whether the expense is worthwhile.

I’m with you about never hiring a professional unless needed. In this case it may be well worth the expense.