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With a joint tenancy/rights of survivorship with son must I share oil returns now or do the returns just pass after my death?

Port Hadlock, WA |
Attorney answers 3

Best Answer
Posted

I assume that son ifs not on title now, just you. One solution would be you sign a quit claim deed from you to you and your son, as jiont tenants, with a resital something like, " but all income from the property subject to this deed is reserved to the grantor during her life" or something like" Grantor reserves a life estate in all mineral rights revenue" I also see a gift tax issue here, since I assume the one half interest you want to deed to your son has a value in excess of $13,000. So maybe the deed should grant an "undivided 1% interest to son and an undivided 99% interest to you , as joint tenants, with a life estate as to all revenues reserved to you".

Scott Kemble Wilson

Scott Kemble Wilson

Posted

Lots of typos - sorry

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick

Posted

That's what happens when you let the dogs type! ;-)

Posted

In that case you have several options. A JTRO essentially gives your son present rights to the property income. You cannot get away from this requirement as you MUST have an equal share in the property.

You do have lots of alternatives, however.

The first is to create a life estate in the property. You can transfer the property to your son, but retain a life interest for the remainder of your life. The property will then automtically go to him on your death, and avoids the Estate Rule if you ever need to go on Medicaid. HOWEVER, you did not indicate if your mineral rights are tied to an interest in property, or are now solely a contractual right. If this is solely a contractual right, this option is not available.

You can also place the property into a land trust or the contractual rights into a revocable trust. This method also avoids the above mentioned Estate Rule. If you have additional needs for control over the property, this is an even better option, as you have a wide variety of control that you can put on the land, its use, and how the money is to be distributed and under what circumstances

Finally, you can name him as a beneficiary of a Will (which you should have anyway since you own property), and name your son as the beneficiary.

I do notice that you are in WA, if you would like to talk over the phone more, please feel free to give me a call. My number is in the disclaimer

Matthew Johnson phone# 206.747.0313 is licensed in the State of Washington and performs bankruptcy, short sale negotiations, and estate planning in Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, King and Pierce counties. The response does not constitute specific legal advice, which would require a full inquiry by the attorney into the complete background of the facts and circumstances surrounding this matter; rather, it is intended to be general legal information based on the limited information provided by the inquirer; it This response also does not constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship, which can only be established after a conflict of interest evaluation is completed, your case is accepted, and a fee agreement is signed. Johnson Legal Group, PLLC

Posted

I agree with Mr. Johnson. I would simply add that, in relation to the options he mentions, they would only be options provided that your son is in agreement and consents to them. If he is currently on the title with you, he has as much say as you do, and he could decide to simply say no. That is one of the reasons why making anyone (other than a spouse) joint owners with you on ANYTHING is not a good idea.

James Frederick

***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!

Chandra Melissa Lewnau

Chandra Melissa Lewnau

Posted

I agree. Making someone a joint owner also opens up the possibility that your property (or their share of it) may become available to their creditors.

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick

Posted

Or worse...a divorcing spouse...

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