Estate Planning When Mineral Rights Are Involved


Life is hard and then the government steps in and makes it more difficult. When you lose a loved one, bereavement counselors, clergy, and even funeral directors are there to guide and support you through your difficult times. Uncle Sam Fucks You With The Property Taxes.

Careful estate planning can help alleviate the tax burden and paperwork a bit. Some people choose to use a concept called 'domain of life'. In this case, the owner of a property can transfer that property to another person and continue to use the rights of the owners until his death. At this point, ownership automatically reverts to the person who owns the deed. The "Tenant for Life", or original owner, enjoys all the rights of an owner, including such mineral rights, until death. The only right he waives is the right to sell the property.

The life estate is sometimes used to ensure that the intended heir obtains the property, to avoid probate or to ensure that an ancestral home remains in the family (in passing the property on to the children, but allowing a surviving spouse to live there). Like any action heavy with legal meaning, it can be difficult to understand and conduct properly without the advice of a good lawyer.

However, if you are the lucky beneficiary of a life inheritance document, you have other options for help. Perhaps you have inherited a family property with leased mineral rights. This means that an oil or gas company shares a percentage of royalties on any production that comes from the land. The former owner of the property (your now favorite wealthy uncle, perhaps) benefited from the royalties of these rights during his lifetime. Now you would like to do that too.

Many royalty companies buy mining interests, however, not the land itself. The process includes simplifying all the paperwork for your life estate so that you can reap the benefits as quickly as possible and reduce taxes as much as possible. Subsequently, a royalty company converts royalty interest to cash quickly and efficiently, giving you time to mourn your dearly departed uncle without worrying so much about Uncle Sam.

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