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Managing Your Mineral Rights - End Of Life Decisions

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Terrel L. Shields

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Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
I just got off the phone with another 80 some year old woman trying to get her husband on Medicaid and stymied by DHS telling her that his mineral rights may be worth a lot of money therefore, she needs an appraisal to prove their value. There are 5 parcels and his minerals were never even brought up from his GRANDFATHER...and have been split between his father and uncle, and then split again between his siblings. And who knows what else is lurking in the past as this all happened years before the on line records start.

She has no idea about the probate from grandpa, any reservations prior to that by anyone else, nor what the net mineral acres are. And she has no money to pay for an appraisal. I would do the appraisal for free, but I cannot pay some abstract company big bucks to determine his actual ownership. She is completely at a loss what to do.

The area is very slow, but has a number of gas wells drilled in days gone by. The minerals are worth some nominal value, but how many acres? No one has a clue until someone goes back deed by deed in a title search and discovers the originating documents. The last activity for any of the parcels was back in 2001 when gas prices were coming up, and someone leased, but never drilled one of the tracts. And that legal doesn't say how many net acres were to them, only that the parcel is 40 gross acres and from the lease I see that a sibling also signed an identical lease (in other words each have 50% of the 40 unless there is another party with part of the minerals).

If starting from scratch it may be difficult to figure out exactly what you own. But for crying out loud do it now and if elderly place the minerals in the name of children or others and get it out of your way, so if you find yourself laying in a rest home peeing green and talking simple, someone can get you on Medicaid quickly. Same with your home, see that you don't have to sell it just to pay the rest home, or at least have some sort of clear title so you can dispose of it quickly.
 
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Elliott

Elite Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Oregon
My $64 question is, so is it possible to meet USPAPs unrelenting standards and do the appraisal? I've turned down similar requests where I know data is as thin as air and felt bad where an appraisal will solve a problem, but USPAP can crucify for doing less than a docoral disertation. Its a situation where you could extrapoloate and opine, but is that enough?
 

Terrel L. Shields

Thread Starter
Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
it possible to meet USPAPs unrelenting standards and do the appraisal?
I cannot appraise your mineral rights if I don't know what it is. Most minerals in oil country are partial interests. But values are set my net mineral acre. I've seen partial interests as small as 1/256th of 40 acres. So they need an accurate value. Overvaluation has consequences for someone trying to get on medicaid. I've seen DHS demand an appraisal on minerals worth less than $600...
 
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