Hi, All -
This is my first post. I have two situations with which I need help with assignments to a revocable trust. The first is for a dear friend of mine, for whom I am successor trustee of her revocable trust. She's 83 years old, and has actual mineral interests in Grady, Dewey, Stephens and Love counties in Oklahoma; and Hutchinson County, TX. There are a total of six mineral deeds, all of which came from her mother many years ago. I have same in my possession, and they were all signed on 3/31/89 and then properly recorded Her present income from the mineral interests is relatively minor - a little over $6,000/year.
The other situation is my own. Although I am presently a CPA doing income tax work for the public, many years ago I worked as VP - Finance for a couple of small oil & gas companies. While so employed, I participated with very small working interests in a number of oil & gas wells. As a result, I now own producing working interests in several wells as well as a few small ORRI's, all in Oklahoma, which primarily came about due to non-participation in some increased-density wells. I'm no sure how many interests are involved, but my income from same is fairly small - about $5,300 for 2015. I think there are four payors - maybe five. In any case, I really need to get them funded into my revocable trust through assignments of same. I know I'll need to locate the original assignments in my files.
In both situations - which are different - I've thought about trying to do the mineral deeds and/or assignments myself. However, I'm not an attorney and that may not be - probably is not - advisable.
Further, I'm not sure whether I should talk to an attorney or a landman in seeking help.
Can anyone offer advice and/or help, along with some type of cost estimate of doing the work?
Thanks in advance!
Hi, Danny -
It is my understanding that a Landman cannot prepare documents that convey title, at least not in Texas. You will need an Attorney to prepare your assignments (and Trust Papers if you need them).
There are several Attorneys that respond to postings here on The Forum. Perhaps one of them can help.
Charles Emery Tooke III
Certified Professional Landman
Fort Worth, Texas
Dear Mr. Payne,
I'll respond to your first situation. Since Revocable Trusts are controlled by the Trustee, I'll assume that the person who created the Trust has chosen to turn the control over to you, her successor Trustee.
My suggestion is to take her Revocable Trust back to the attorney who originated it and ask him to finish his job and "fund" her assets into the Trust. Possible assets can include stocks, annuities, money market accounts, real estate, etc. And, of course, upon her demise, the Pour Over Will will pour over the balance of any assets. She does have a Pour Over Will doesn't she?
You can, actually, take the Revocable Trust to any estate attorney (no landman) with your request. You might even want to call around and "shop" price. The charge will be dependent upon the attorney. Be prepared to provide all the proper legal documentation, including Deeds, with legal descriptions.
Don't forget to request that the originals be returned after county clerk records and files.
From direct experience from a Trust to an LLC for multiple states, Oklahoma properties should be handled separately by an Oklahoma licensed Attorney. Perhaps the attorney knows how to deal with the Texas property as well.
Working interest abd ORRI are normally contractual between you and the operator/buyer of product. Respond to each payor with a witnessed assignment document on a payor by payor basis. Send registered RRR. Some payors will send you a Division Order for execution and some may just begin paying your trust when they get around to it.
You are the CPA so perhaps you have a good reason for not putting everything into a C Corp or LLC. Your next of kin or planned trustee may be grateful of your consolidation efforts some day. Your OK minerals should have a long life especially in Grady, Dewey, and Stephens.
Gary L Hutchinson