If an heir holds mineral rights in numerous counties in N Dakota, and the will was definitely probated in North Dakota too, would it have to have been probated in every county where holdings are, or is filing the death certificate and will in each county enough?
Beverly, it would not, but you should record the resulting mineral deed in each county in which the minerals lie. If the proceedings did not result in a deed, the lawyer who did the probate should be contacted and asked why not? Why do a probate at all if not to give good title in the heirs?
Doesn't the final order and the order of a representative need recording also in each county along with the representatives deed?
Joe, as far as I know it does not. In this day of online records, it shouldn't be necessary. You can probate in any county in the state because you are probating for the entire state. Let me know if you find anything that differs, some rule that says you must record the final order in all the counties in which the minerals lie. My PR's deed references the probate, nothing more should be necessary.
Really appreciate your help, Wondering if anyone can tell me what the cost is to probate in North Dakota. Thanks again!
Beverly, cost of a probate varies with how complicated it is. For a ball park figure I'd guess at minimum the cost may be $1,500 (10 hours at $150/hr attorney fee). Though a large or complicated estate may cost considerably more (and $150/ hour may be a low estimate). Disclaimer, I am not an attorney and this information may only be worth what you've paid for it. Though in general the process to convey the minerals will be as follows;
1. The estate is filed for probate in a SINGLE North Dakota county (ideally one not too busy).
2. Court issues "Letters Testamentary" appointing someone as the Estate Personal Representative (PR).
3. Estate's PR then creates a mineral "Deed of Distribution" for EACH ND county with mineral rights. If there are minerals under two or more separate tracts in a county they may all be on the same deed for that county.
4. That Deed AND a Certified Copy of the "Letters" should be "Recorded" together in the county courthouse.
5. Repeat step 4 with a separate deed and another certified copy of the "Letters" in each county where the minerals were owned.
You record the "Letters" along with the Deed to document the party signing the deed had authority to do so. A will should be submitted with the initial probate, though there is no need to record the will in each county. Nor do I believe you need to record the "final order" for the probate in each county. I believe that is only needed in the county where the probate was filed. However, ask an attorney what is required in that regard. Bottom line, you pay for the attorney's expertise and their TIME. So make it quick and easy for them. Gather in everything you have (or obtain it) such as the will, previous probate papers (from any state), prior deeds (or at minimum the complete legal descriptions), and contact information for any heirs named in the will. Make it as simple as you can to minimize your legal expense and to expedite the process. Hope this helps, Good Luck.