From Turkeys to Trusts: A Thanksgiving Guide to Family Estate Planning

byPhillip Dunning

Thanksgiving was always a memorable time in my family. Scattered across the country, it was a time in which we could all get together to celebrate the end of the season and spend time in each other’s presence without any distractions. We also saw it as a time for the family to sit together and go over estate planning. Each year, we would dedicate an hour to discussing changes over the past year and anything pertinent to investments, property, taxes and our family estate.

While some people might find that morbid, the reality is, it gave great calmness to the situation of passing on a legacy when it mattered. There was a clear understanding of the estate and how we should manage it – no surprises. For many families, the opposite is true. Estate planning or family assets are not discussed and almost held in secret. This causes great concern and issues for the next generation, as they have no real understanding or expectation about the family’s royalty interests.

Minerals and royalties are usually ignored or not discussed due to the misunderstanding of complexity. Unlike property, which is tangible, or investments, which can be understood on a screen, royalties are an enigma. To some, minerals are mailbox money, to others, the sentiment that we will never sell, so just accept what is being given. Minerals are simply another real property asset, like real estate, and can be discussed or understood simply with the assistance of Enverus.

For any investment or asset owned the main questions we like to know are:

  • What do we own?
  • What is the expected income into the future?
  • What is the asset worth?
  • Is there any activity or nearby event that will increase our income?

For minerals, all of this can be understood using Enverus mineral management solutions that will automatically match the wells on your statement to their associated API10 or unique identifier. You will see where the wells you have are in pay, their production, and be notified of any new wells being drilled using Enverus GPS enabled Rigs. All of this on your mobile, tablet or desktop device.  Imagine being able to provide insights and context to your family “above and beyond” royalty statements! 

We provide an analysis on expected cashflow into the future and the present value of producing assets today, level setting with everyone how oil and gas wells are a declining asset and royalty checks are dependent on new wells being drilled and commodity prices. Eliminate second guessing or worrying about if the checks will stop coming. Gain clarity on the portfolio and its value to the family.

More than anything, most owners want to feel empowered that they know they are being paid correctly, on time and completely. Download a free case study of how MacFarlane company partnered with Enverus to empower themselves with the right information and tools that simplified estate planning and maximized revenue.

You can also watch the on-demand webinar on common mistakes in mineral management to avoid and gain insights on how to manage your mineral assets effectively.

What could be better for Thanksgiving than giving thanks for all things in our lives?  Family, friends, health and the benefits that being a royalty owner create. Take the guess work out of providing your family with insights into the estate and be empowered to manage your assets.  Get a complete view of Enverus mineral management solutions ranging from our free mineral management platform to advanced, enterprise mineral management solutions and speak to a trusted expert today.

Phillip Dunning

Phillip Dunning

Phillip currently serves as director of product management for Minerals at Enverus. Prior to joining Enverus in early 2016, Phillip worked as an A&D engineer in the Appalachian Basin and later as a managing director at an upstream private equity firm focusing on equity investments in unconventional plays and royalty/mineral acquisitions. Phillip has advised companies on deploying capital, raising money and acquisitions/divestitures, and has helped start numerous oil and gas companies since 2013. While at Enverus, he has served in various roles, most recently as principal of corporate strategy. Phillip served for 10 years as an engineering officer in the U.S. Army, retiring in 2021. Phillip holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Ohio State University and a Master of Engineering from the University of Louisiana.

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