In September 1997, my mother died in the state of Washington. In her will, she passed on some North Dakota mineral rights to my brother and I. We contacted a North Dakota attorney and he filled an Affidavit of Heirship
With Indemnity, along with the will and death certificate. The documents were filed with the Register of Deeds in the involved county, in September 1998.
In May 2007, we were contacted by a landman, who eventually offered a lease on the mineral rights. We took his offer and the transaction was handled by us signing the lease in the presence of a Notary Public. Payment was done using a Sight Draft. We received our full payment and there were no complications.
In June 2007, we filed a Statement of Claim of Mineral Interest with the involved county.
A well was eventually drilled on the property and in April 2009, a Division Order was signed. Since then we have been receiving royalty payments from the oil/gas proceeds. There has never been any dispute about ownership of the mineral rights.
In December 2012, I contacted a broker and offered to sell my mineral rights. After agreeing on a price, a mineral deed and bank draft was signed. There has been no money exchanged at this point.
Yesterday I received a call from the broker. He advised no probate
for the mineral rights had been filed in North Dakota. He stated one needed to be completed. The offer was that they would pay 1/2 the agreed price with the remained be paying after the probate had been completed. The requirement was that I would need to sign an agreement, stating I would cooperate in getting the probate completed. I have not seen the agreement yet. It should be arriving today. Payment will be completed through a wire transfer.
I feeling uncomfortable. It seems once I have signed an additional agreement, I have entered a slippery slope. The original agreement has been changed so I would be the one defaulting if problems developed.
What to do?