Legacy: Most people have inherited their minerals from ancestors who believed in its future value. They hung on to them for the potential. When they pass, we move to the next leg.
Identity One big issue is trying to determine who inherited and where they are. Often a affidavit of hiership can help those individuals get found. If you own minerals and your name or address changes, consider filing an affidavit in the county with your updated information. Being identified is a good thing which leads to the next leg.
Ownership Ultimately, the issue becomes who legally owns the minerals. This varies by states. In some states, an Affidavit of Heirship is viable. In other states a company may require a probate in order for companies to pay royalties. Once ownership is established, it is time to think about the next generation.
Your Legacy Once you have ownership secured, you should take steps to pass the asset to your loved ones. An attorney can advise you on the cleanest and most efficient way to do so. This usually means avoiding probate. Trusts are great way to own minerals. It avoids probate. , but a Transfer on Death Deed (beneficiary deed) may be a cost effective substitute.
Richard Winblad, Attorney