Reeves County, oh where can ye be

Sorry if this is a repost, can’t find the first: My family is part of a mineral rights trust, over 700 acres in Reeves Cty. The executor wants to sell deed and dissolve trust. I’m not comfortable with selling just yet, considering the recent find and alternate drilling method. The last distribution check was mid 1980s, no further info or contact since then, apart from this most recent contact by executor. I can’t find the site that lists trust members and deed/lease activity. Any advice is very much appreciated. Thank you. Sherry

Sherry, Just tell the executor to deed everyone their interest then they can dissolve the trust, no need to sell. Everyone can decide for themselves whether they wish to sell or not.

I don't want to assume that the executor/trustee is crooked but there may be something in it for them if they can deliver 700 acres in Reeves county at a certain price.

Howdy Sherry, And what does the executor/trustee bless their considerateness, say about recent find and alternate drilling?

I think RW has the right idea unless something in the wording of the trust would prevent distribution of the interest to the beneficiaries. If it is going to be distributed keep in mind though that on leasing (or selling) a unified group controlling multiple interests in the 700 acres would have a lot more negotiating leverage than any single interest holder. You don't want to hold up the distribution but I would consider trying to contact as many of the other trust members as possible and propose having one person (or attorney) handle any future lease negotiations for whatever group is willing to work together. Sometimes there are too many competing ideas for that to be possible but I think it's worth trying.

On your comment that you can't find the site that lists the trust members, what kind of site are you talking about, where the trust was recorded or something related to the production payments you mentioned back in the 80's? Since it may take some combined effort to get any of this done, does the trustee/executor seem unwilling to give you the information you would need to contact other members?

You should ask for copies of the trust documents to see the rights of all parties involved. Do you have legal description of the location (s) of the minerals? Then you can research area leasing, well permits and productuon. How is the executor or trustee determining the value? How will he market the minerals? Who, if anyone, will be paid a commission and how will that be calculated? You need to ask a lot of questions.

Hi, Sherry -

If you are using the words Executor and Trust correctly, it sounds to me like the Trust was set up under a Will and who was once the Executor of the Will is now the or one of the Trustees for the Trust set up under the Will.

If this is the case, you can obtain a copy of the Will establishing the Trust in the records of the Probate Court for whatever County the Will was Probated in. If it was not Reeves County, then you should be able to find a copy of the Will establishing the Trust in the Deed Records or Official Public Records of Reeves County.

The Will should set out who the beneficiaries are or at least give you a list of names to begin with.

The others are right, the Trustee may be negotiating for something for themselves that the rest of you would not receive. That is called "Self Dealing" and it at the very least an "actionable offence". A Trustee or Executor / Executrix has a fiduciary responsibility towards the parties they are representing. They are not allowed to "work a side deal".

If the terms of the Trust allow for it's voluntary termination, then that might be the way to go. Terminate the Trust and distribute the assets (everyone gets Deeded or Assigned their share). Then everyone involved can make their own decisions.

If you will provide us with the legal descriptions of your 700 acres, several of us can look your area(s) up and show you what is happening in and around them.

Who knows, you may already have royalties coming in!

Hope this helps -

Charles Emery Tooke III

Certified Professional Landman

Fort Worth, Texas


1% interest in the trust (7 acres) in Reeves can be or will be worth $30,000 to $150,000 based on known geologic potential. (From personal participation in recent transactions ) You judge what it is worth to demand distribution of your share. Most mineral rights trusts provide for liquidation in kind. Make sure you get your fair share of Reeves County while you can.

You are getting some good advice here. Read between the lines very carefully.

Gary L Hutchinson