dot, as long as you own the land, you own the mineral rights. If your dad did not sell his mineral rights, you inherited them, in whole or in part. Louisiana treats the mineral right a little differently than most other states when it comes to mineral rights that have been severed from surface ownership. That creates a mineral servitude which is subject to a ten year prescriptive period.
As to how other heirs may share in ownership, you do not provide sufficient detail. Your dad's death has nothing to do with the fact that drilling "started later". What is important is whether his lease was still in effect when the drilling started and if that drilling resulted in one or more producing wells. If there are producing wells, are you receiving royalty payments?
The lease was still in effect and we are receiving royalty payments. We are getting on up in age and just wanted to be sure everything is in order for our children. Thank you so much for your help.
You're welcome. The best thing that you can do to make sure your children inherit your mineral rights with no complications is to file public records that maintain your chain of title. So successions and/or Judgements of Possession should be filed in the parish records as each family member passes on and leaves their assets to the heir(s).