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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 102584
Experience:  Fully licensed attorney in Texas in private practice.
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I am trying to transfer ownership and claim mineral rights

Customer Question

I am trying to transfer ownership and claim mineral rights royalties that were held by my grandparents (both deceased). Their only child (my father) is also deceased so myself (and my two brothers) are the sole heirs. I have submitted all the relative death certificates and affidavits of heirship to the owners, but they are now requesting that in order to transfer ownership we need to submit an Affidavit via Superior Court in the county where the property is located in California. 1) What form do I use for this; 2) Do I file in Monterey County where the property is OR Do I need to initially file in LA where my grandparents passed away? 3) How can an Inventory and Appraisal be done on mineral rights and who does this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms. Was probate ever filed for your grandparents' estates? What about your father's estate? Or, not sure? Finally, whose name is ***** ***** in now - yours, or your father's, or your grandparent'(s')? This is not an answer, but an information request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't know if there was ever a probate on my grandparents' estates. My father had a trust from his parents that is no longer in existence. There was not a probate on my father's estate as he held less than $2K in assets. My grandparents names are ***** ***** deed now.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't know why these mineral rights were never transferred to my father - my grandparents passed away in the late 1950's. Maybe everyone forgot they held these rights.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. I see the problem.
The problem is that the deed is not in your name to convey. It is in the grandparent's name. You do not have what is known as "clear title." Buyers are very wary of titles when there is not a clear chain of ownership.
If no probate has been filed, the title has not been properly transferred from the grandparents to your parent to you. You are attempting to covey a title to a land which (on paper) does not belong to you.
This is why the buyer wants a COURT ORDER that certifies that you are the proper owner, which would ensure that the title is clear.
But... no probate action was filed. And TWO probate actions have to be filed - one one the grandparents and one on the parent. You have to get an attorney. There is simply very little success in doing this one's own self, and you cannot represent an estate anyhow (meaning you may have difficulty filing without counsel).
The process may be relatively quick if done correctly, but it is not as simple as going to court and getting an "affidavit." Probate actions are complex. I'd recommend using counsel to guide you through.
Once this is done, you'll have clear title to sell/convey.
Please note: If I tell you simply what you wish to hear, this would be unfair to you. I need to be honest with you and sometimes this means providing information that is not optimal. Negative ratings are reserved for experts who are rude or for erroneous information. Please rate me on the quality of my information; do not punish me for my honesty.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry to clarify. I am NOT trying to sell these mineral rights. I am trying to transfer ownership to myself and my brothers from my grandparents for us to hold. The owner of the mineral rights is specifically asking for the Affidavit via the State of California.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Ah... okay. Well the owner of the mineral rights is using not quite proper lingo. He wants to be asking for a "quit claim deed" or an "executor's deed," either of which which work to give you the property and put it in your name. However in this situation, neither are available until probate is filed. So my answer stands AS IS. The name(s) on the deed cannot be changed until the probate process helps to change it. Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question because you never responded or replied positively. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!