There is a family concern that a sibling is wanting to sell their minerals rather than to continue the life estate and let those minerals rights go forward to their children. Is this a legal possibility?
Would the solution be for the family to purchase those rights and then return those interests to the children?
Is it really a life estate if the sibling has the ability to sell the minerals outright? Could the sibling be selling only his life interest in the minerals which after death will revert to the children?
Exactly. I am wanting to know if this is a life estate, can he sell the interests?
You would need an attorney to interpret the controlling document. It may have a provision which allows one of the beneficiaries to actually sell the minerals, not just sell his life interest. I can see this as being a possibility if the person who formed the trust might have foreseen one of the siblings having no children, providing for an instance of childless children predeceasing a sibling, or just allowing a beneficiary more leeway in case of in extremis life events.
If it IS a true life estate, the minerals will revert to the “remaindermen” upon the death of the life estate holder. He or she CAN sell their life estate interest but when the original life estate holder dies, the interest terminates and goes back to the remaindermen. So all the buyer is getting is the life estate interest for the life of the original holder. I would definitely talk to an attorney to verify the interest is in fact a life estate, and advise you on your options.
Thank you AJ11! You were quite informative. I do know that when the minerals were transferred they were in a life estate and transferred to the relatives listed in the will. Does it matter that from that transfer to the following relatives there was so mention of the term “Life Estate” in the will?
Thank you for your response frankrosielaw! You were quite informative. I do know that when the minerals were transferred (by a will) they were in a life estate and transferred to the relatives listed in the will. Does it matter that from that will transfer to the following will transfer to relatives there was so mention of the term “Life Estate” in the will?
I am sorry, but I don’t know enough to attempt to answer that question. It might be best to consult an attorney.
I agree with AJ11, you need to have an attorney look at all the relevant documents to confirm the existence of a life estate and determine what rights the life estate holder may have by virtue of the documents (will, trust) which set up the life estate.
Thank you for helping me, AJ11!
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