I was contacted a few years ago by a landman interested in leasing oil rights of a piece of land in Kern county in my deceased fathers name. I have map information and legal discriptions.The bottom dropped out and lost contact. The landman moved to Texas and the Company is no longer in business. How can I transfer the oil and mineral rights from my deceased father to me. I would be the next in line my brother passed away years ago. Not such a big deal for me but easier to pass on to my kids. I'm 74 so it would be nice to clear this up. Thank you you you time.
Michael M: Such transfer may be able to be completed by an Affidavit of Real Property of Small Value. This is a very shortened probate procedure, which does not require a hearing in the court, but allows heirs to certify that they are entitled to the property that remains titled in a decedent. If your brother has heirs, however, and you and he were the only heirs of your father, then his heirs would take half and you would take half. Transfer in this manner by a lawyer would likely cost several thousands of dollars, however. The problem is that this shortened procedure would not work for your heirs because there would be two generations of decedents then. Thus, you probably need to decide if the interest is worth the expense at this time, knowing that the expense to your heirs will be more should they be approached for a lease and require title to be in their names.
I hope this information helps some.
Thank you for the great information. I totally agree. Attorney fees could surpass any value of the the asset. I had hoped that I could find a way to handle by myself but looks like I would need more legal advice in the future. Thanks again,
You do not necessarily need a lawyer to file the Affidavit. If you have some time to expend, you can obtain the form (it is called an Affidavit Re Real Property of Small Value (Form DE-305) and can be obtained online at http://www.courts.ca.gov/forms.htm. It is a Probate form, under decedents or just hit "Forms Listed by Number" to get it. The property has to be valued at less than $50,000, which mineral interests that are not producing are typically. You are required to have the probate referee give you an appraisal, but that's not too expensive. Once you get the form done you can contact one of the referees here in town to get that accomplished. Then, you file the form with the appraisal in the Kern County Superior Court along with the filing fee ($435).
Thanks again. Most helpful and appreciated.
OMG..If you don't mind running in circles, you can do it yourself. After my mom's death and after 2 years of initially getting her lease "acknowledged" I asked my mother's lawyer to return all needed paperwork from the will, etc and did everything myself. I contacted the county in which the mineral rights were and asked what was required to get my brother and my names on the property. That being said, last year I was still getting tax bills in my mother's name but continued to pay them. Because i did not want our kids to go through all the confusion that I had experienced, the "COUNTY" claimed not to have a clue as what to do. "We just send out the bill." And so, after much work, I realized that there is an "appraisal group" that handles ownership changes..The changes were completed in December 2016.