Our family has a mineral deed owned by 2 elderly sisters that states an undivided 1/6 interest in land situated in Hughes County. Each sister wants to gift their rights to their respective children. One sister has 1 child, the other sister has 2 children. How does this calculate regarding the 1/6 interest? (does each sister have 1/6 to give, or do they each have 1/12?) Thank you for your help.
Hello Daine. If there is 1 deed that names them as Grantees, technically and legally I think, they “together” and jointly own a 1/6 interest. They do not have a 1/6 interest each to give.
Now, in order to deed the 1/6 they own together, they should deed it (using whatever split they agree upon) to the 3 children. (Ex. 1/12 go to the only child, and 1/24 each goes to the siblings.) That’s just one way to split the 1/6.
However, I would highly suggest they deed it to the children as “tenants-in-common”. That way, the children will own their interest outright and their heirs will receive that exact interest on down the line.
Thanks for your quick reply. So, do the Grantees need to decide and agree upon the deed “method” or is each sister able to split as they please…ie: gifting or selling their portion…or one opting for “tenants in common” the other not. (?) Appreciate the help.
The option is joint tenancy with right or survivorship which is probably not a great result. If left unchanged, the last survivor would own all of the interest–thus the heirs of those who die first receive nothing. However, a tenancy in common would inherited by the deceased child’s heirs or persons named in a Will.
Also if this is strictly for probate avoidance there are other options. There are pros and cons for each method. Discussions with an Oklahoma attorney would be helpful.
I agree with Richard_Winblad. Your best resource will be getting help from an Oklahoma attorney on how to proceed with the sisters intent. Once that is understood fully, the attorney can advise on how best to make that happen.
Upon further research, apparently the sister with 1 child has gifted 1/6 to her child which is incorrect. She was entitled to gift 1/12. Is the other sister free to move forward to gift her portion (which is correctly 1/12) to her 2 children even though it appears the other sister’s attorney split her portion incorrectly? Thanks for the advice.
Actually, I don’t think she could have done that without the other sisters signature. If she did, her lawyer may have made a mistake. If the other sister did sign the deed, the only child is now owner of the 1/6 royalty. You need to find out if that was the intent.
You need to take the facts to an Oklahoma attourney to find a remedy.
The other sister did not sign. It appears to be an error by her lawyer. Now what? Is the other sister still free to proceed with gifting her 1/12 to her 2 children? Based on what you are saying, it would seem the 1/6 deed would be “invalid” since both parties did not sign. (?) Thanks again for your replies. Most helpful.
An attorney not licensed in Oklahoma cannot legally prepare deeds for others. It is the unauthorized practice of law even though deeds are usually simple instruments. This should be a fairly simple transaction. Each sister can sign away their interests independent of what the other does. That being said it would be best to review the instrument that gave the sisters their interest, then draw up the appropriate deeds.
My grandmother also owns deeds with her sister. What exactly do we look for in their deeds to determine if it is this type of ownership that would automatically go to the surviving sister, rather than children? My grandmother has a will, but would that be negated by the original terms, if they go to the survivor? Sorry if that doesn’t make any sense, I’m new to all of this.
In OK you are looking for words of “joint tenancy”, not tenants in common, or individually.
- Start with the deeds. It is usually a simple task to determine it the survivor takes all or if it passes to the heirs.
- If there is a deed, it probably doesn’t matter what the will says. If grandmother did not own at the time of her death it is not subject to probate or her will.