Hi everyone,

It's been awhile since I was on this site.  I wrote some months ago, after I discovered that I was a partial mineral owner on some property that was owned by my grandfather.  He sold this property, retained half the mineral rights and sold the rest with the property sale.  He had four children that these minerals passed to.  Three are deceased, one of which was my mother.  So one original (1 out of the 4) heir is still alive and the rest are children of the other 3 heirs.

I finally was able to drive to Shelby Co and research thru the books.  I have discovered that this property has been leased out more than once, apparently by at least two different companies.  It appears that no drilling has taken place, but lease contract payments were apparently made to the property owners who owned the other half of the mineral rights.  It seems that no one made an attempt to find the out of town living child of the original four.  I was told that no one even knew my Mom had passed, but no one tried to find anyone to pay them for a lease, either. So, my living uncle was never aware that recent leases were signed, nor were any of the children of the other 3 deceased. 

These leases were put together in 2004 and 2007, for 3 yrs., so should have run their course, by now.

My question is this:

Are these companies not required to follow this heirship chain before leasing these minerals, instead of just leasing the half of local property owners?

Are we heirs now entitled to lease payments, since they did not do "due diligence" in their searches?

Who would be responsible for paying this money?  The oil company or the landman that divided these payments incorrectly for these leases, in the first place?

My apologies for the length of this discussion.  I am trying to educate myself and learn this, as the appointed contact person for the heirs in the family.

Thank you for your time.

Texasj   

Views: 611

Replies to This Discussion

Are these companies not required to follow this heirship chain before leasing these minerals, instead of just leasing the half of local property owners?

Simple answer...no, they are not. They can pool the owners who did sign a lease and ask for an exception for the unleased owners who they will say they were not able to locate. Most operators want to lease all of the owners of a mineral tract but it is not imperative that they do. It won't stop them from drilling if they have the other half of the mineral tract leased because that owner has the right to see production from his minerals.  

Are we heirs now entitled to lease payments, since they did not do "due diligence" in their searches?

No. The people who signed a lease were only paid bonus for the portion of the minerals owned by them. If the leases are expired, no wells were drilled and there is no production holding the leases then you guys just missed out, sorry. If they had drilled a well and royalties were/are being paid to the owners of the other half then you would need to contact the operator of the well to give them notice that you are owners in their unit. You would, most likely, then need an attorney because it could (probably will) get complicated, at that point.

Just in case there is another round of leasing, you can file an affidavit outlining who your grandfather's heirs are... his children and grandchildren, since some of his children are now deceased. It should include, at least, the town of current residence for each adult named if not their full address. I would use an attorney because he/she will know which format would be best to include the description of the mineral tract you own. You want to tie your names to that tract of land and put it in the county records. If you have an affidavit on file you should be found... next time.  

Don't know why the font changed... weird.

Thank you for the great information.  I am very sorry that I was not able to respond sooner.  I had a couple of people advise me to fill out an affadavit and record it.  I was assuming that it would be pulled up by using my name (which, of course, will not accomplish anything) and was sitting here, trying to figure how to file it so that it attaches to that "particular land", those particular minerals, and my grandfather's name---since we don't carry the same last name and no one knows us. I just didn't know how to accomplish that, so that it attaches to that particular property's mineral rights. Goodness, this shouldn't be sooo hard. 

Thanks so much.  I'll take all the advice I can get from any of you wonderful people. Then, if I could just ever get educated, I could pass advice onto others.  (Just not sure that I'm going to make it, based on the current speed of learning.)

Jeanne (texasj) 

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