Transfer of interest

My mother died in 2009 and has an interest in the Willmington field (through her husband, my father, now deceased). We have a bit of money that Warren has had in suspense for a few years. They have given my sister all kinds of instructions during this two year period that she must do in order to transfer the interest and collect our money. I am thinking I can file a small estate affidavit, as we live in Texas and this mineral right is the only real or personal property we have in California. If I read correctly, we need to have an appraised amount for this mineral interest. How do I do that without spending lots of money? Is there another way to do this?

Thanks, Melissa

You do not need an appraisal to collect the royalties held for you, they are cash awaiting proof of ownership. While Warren has filed BK they are still producing in sections of their Wilmington leases and paying albeit not large amounts. The appraisal comes in to sell the mineral rights. Also, if there is money from a few years ago, it may be on file with the state of California as unclaimed monies. That can be researched online by simply providing your mother's name on a web form which you can find through the state web site..

Thanks Lindsay. Warren still has the money, or so they say, but I will check. They won't budge from the small estate affidavit and the grant deed. The small estate affidavit says you need an appraisal of the property. I suppose to make sure it is valued at less than $150,000? Maybe I am reading it incorrectly.

Melissa, I inherited mineral rights in the same area in 2001. I did not have to have an appraisal to begin to receive royalties just had to have the proper paperwork filed in Los Angeles to deed them over to me. It makes no sense to have an appraisal for receiving royalties that are contractually documented as that contract binds the producer on what they must pay and that they can deduct. I suggest you speak with an attorney concerning Warren's claims, a single consultation will not be expensive, but is always best to verify what monies are at stake first.

Hi Lindsay,

What did you file in LA County? Do you live in CA or out of state?

Hi Melissa, You will need an appraisal for the Affidavit re: Real Property of Small Value. If the appraised amount is more than $50,000, then an Affidavit cannot be utilized. A Probate Referee or other qualified appraiser can conduct an appraisal. The Probate Referees' appraisals are relatively inexpensive. What you need are copies of the 1099's from your mother for about 3 years. If you cannot find these records you can ask Warren for them (although I suspect that they may not be much help). I understand that the minerals are in Los Angeles County, but you can utilize a qualified appraiser anywhere in California. I recommend Michael Burger, who is a Probate Referee here in Kern County and is extremely knowledgeable in appraisals of mineral estates. He can be reached at 661.587.1010. His staff is very helpful as well. Good luck!