The shale drilling boom in the Marcellus and Utica Shale region is one of the best things to happen for trust and estate lawyers in years. Landowners need help in planning how they will pass on royalty income from their property to avoid a huge tax hit in the process. Greedy politicians are always looking for a way to relieve citizens of wealth, to, you know, spread it a round a little bit. Landowners who have signed leases need a plan to reduce the government’s bite as much as possible.
However, simply giving away the royalty rights early in the process, to help you and your heirs, is not always the first and best option, according to experts like attorney R. Douglas DeNardo—a partner at Rothman Gordon in Pittsburgh, chairman of the firm’s estates, trusts and taxation department: