Monthly Archives: April 2017

Keep Track of Your Minerals

I am not a good bookkeeper but when my check stub arrives I read it and post it in a spreadsheet, then distribute the money to the stakeholders in our family trust. That partnership has a means of smooth transition so if I die suddenly, the checks continue to flow into the account and the names change on the partnership and the oil company does not get involved.
Previously our family bookkeeper, a CPA, took the check and deposited it. When he died suddenly, the money was not accessible until the remaining members of the partnership went to the bank with a death certificate and created a new account. We were unable to cash the checks until then. Direct deposit solves that problem so long as you have all the paperwork and spreadsheets in order.
As a valuer, I have waited for months for paperwork from clients. They simply have no idea what they own. They cashed the checks. They signed a lease or division order without reading it. Most often I find that the heirs have no idea what deed is the basis for their mineral ownership. They don’t have a copy, rarely keep a division order, and often heirs cannot tell the valuer what the gross and net mineral acreage is. Educating yourself is very important.
Organize your check stubs by the month and have deeds and reservations filed so your heirs will know what you own. Keep all correspondence in a rational order, and if you don’t understand it, ask until you find the answer.
Locally, the state Assessment Coordination Director in Little Rock assures me that revising and reforming the ad valorem tax in this state to make it more uniform is in the works. I hope so.