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Christopherson, Anderson
Paulson & Fideler, LLP
Attorneys at Law

Representing clients in Sioux Falls and throughout South Dakota

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Estate planning and oil, gas or mineral rights in a trust

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2021 | Estate Planning

If you are creating an estate plan in South Dakota, you may find that there are some complications with your assets. Complex assets are among the many issues that can mean there is more to estate planning than simply creating a will. Owning oil, gas or mineral rights is one of those complexities, particularly if you want to place them in a living trust.

Understanding ownership

First, for the purposes of estate planning, it is important to clarify what is meant by “owning” these rights. You might own the property on which these are found. You might own an interest as part of a royalty or lease agreement, or your rights may be to the deposits. If you do own the property, you can change the ownership to the trust. Owning rights that are separate from the land itself means that you must assign the rights to the trust.

Recording the transfer

In the case of owning the actual land, you need to make sure that the deed is recorded with the county. In the case of owning only the rights, whether and how you need to record the transfer of ownership varies based on how they were transferred to you. This could involve working with the company that you receive payment from.

Avoiding estate planning errors

It can be easy to make errors when you are dealing with estate planning and oil, gas or mineral rights. If you are trying to create an estate plan on your own, you might also not be aware of what all of your options are. Working with an attorney may help you avoid these mistakes and introduce you to strategies for your individual situation. Once you have created an estate plan, you should review it regularly, including after any major changes in your family or assets, to ensure that it remains up to date.