Baton Rouge, LA asked in Estate Planning, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Alabama

Q: i own 120 acres and my dad has a life estate on the property. he also owns the timber/mineral rights. can he sell them?

My father put the land in mine and my brothers name years ago but kept the timber/mineral rights. He has cut timber many times. Now he wants to sell the land and we don't agree. Can he sell the timber/mineral rights to someone without our knowledge? WHat happens to the land then?

1 Lawyer Answer
Anthony M. Avery
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  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Knoxville, TN

A: If the conveyance to you and your brother is enforceable, then his reserving timber and mineral rights will also be enforceable. That could involve the entire surface of the 120 acres. You apparently state that Father owns the fee in timber and minerals, but only a life estate in the property itself. That does not sound right, as it is most likely a life estate period. With that he could sell the timber and minerals to be removed during his lifetime. It might help to have a lawyer conduct a title search.

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