I am a mineral right owner, in Guernsey County, near Freeport, Londonderry Township, sold to Shell in Oct. 2011 and received my money from Shell . I owned 1/3 of the 79.23 acres. Now the question I have, after contacting an attorney, to no avail, is how do I go about adding my wife's name on my part of the deed, just in case something happens to me? I want her legally protected from Shell and my brothers. How can I go about putting her name on the deed? No one seems to be able to answer this question. Someone must know. Please help me out. Thanks much!
I suggest that you contact an attorney and ask him if creating a Survivorship Deed would solve your problem.
The answer to your question depends on how your property is owned. Your deed will identify the nature of your ownership. However, as Jay noted in his response, if ownership is shared with your brothers, you most likely are tenants in common (or tenancy in common).
If the property is held with your brothers as tenancy in common, your interest will pass according to your will (assuming you have one. if you don't, you need to have one drafted). You should consult with an attorney with estate planning/real estate experience. Most county bar associations have free lawyer referral services and will direct you to someone competent to handle your legal issue.
I'm not certain why the attorney you consulted was unable to help you, or at least point out that the question is not how to put your wife on the deed, but rather how real estate passes under your will.
Creating a joint tenancy with right of survivorship (i.e. a survivorship deed) would be unnecessarily difficult and would require your co-owners (who I assume are your brothers) to agree to change the nature of their ownership of the property.
I hope this answer helps and good luck!
I think Norman is really asking two questions. One being, how do I protect my wife from shell, the other how do I protect my wife from my brothers. On the first Question, I think the answer is you can't. If he really sold his mineral interest, nothing he does now will change that. If he really only leased his mineral interest, his and his wife's protection will be in the lease. his "wife's protection" would require a conveyance of an interest in the land. Adding his wife's name to his interest in the land is totally separate from protecting her from Shell.
In general to add a spouse to a deed so that she still owns the land if you were to die, a title company or lawyer can rewrite a deed to add your spouses name in survivorship.
I bought land last year and forgot to include my wife who was dissapointed, so I had the closing lawyer rewrite the deed to add her name. There is nothing to it. There is a fee for the lawyer and entering the deed into the courthouse.
Now how you protect your spouse from your brothers and Shell, that is a different discussion that others are covering for you in their comments.
Can I throw into play here DOWER RIGHTS ? Even after a divorce from what I have been told a x spouse can come back into play in successor ship the reason in a property settlement you have a quit claim deed. Might be wrong here but to me it would seem darn near automatic she would have the property.