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Starting the Conversation about Mineral Interests

 

Conversation Tips (for a family with mineral interests):

 

  1. If you are an adult child trying to learn about mineral interests your parents own, a good place to start is to ask your parents to teach you what they know. There are a number of reasons that they will hopefully want to teach you:
    1. To make sure you understand well enough to help them manage the interests in case they are ever incapacitated;
    2. To help you be a good steward of the mineral interests if they want to keep them in the family for generations; and
    3. To have you help them with record keeping.
  2. This is also a good time to ask them their wishes and strategies for managing the interests.
  3. Determine what types of mineral interests they actually have. Seek counsel if you aren't sure ... while they are still here to help you figure things out and answer questions that only they may be able to answer.
  4. Consider whether your family should consider creating an entity to hold the mineral interests to prevent further fractionalization.
  5. If the mineral interests you own are part of a family farm or ranch property, consider discussing plans for the property with a 5-year, 10-year, and 20-year window. Siblings owning undivided interests in just a mineral interest may be manageable, but if they also own undivided interests in the surface, life can get very complicated. Such a situation often creates misunderstandings unless the family decides to run it like a business.