Can They Take The Lease Away From Me??

I have a unique question for regarding an oil and gas lease out of Ohio.

It is regarding my father who signed a lease with the Oil & Gas Co. in 2017. My fathers property was never in his name, after he married in 2013 the property still remained in his wife's maiden name, nor was he added to it.

His wife has now since passed away in 2016 and now he has passed away recently in 2018. Prior to my fathers passing (days before) I contacted the Oil & Gas Co. and asked about the lease and that my father was very ill. Before they would speak much to me they requested I send them, his Wife's Death Certificate, the Durable Power of Attorney that I had on my father, showing me as the "Executor", and a W-9 with all my fathers information on it but with my signature at the bottom with "POA" next to it.

Once that was sent, the Oil & Gas Co. gave me the thumbs up and said they would place my name on the lease in some fashion or another,...??...I don't remember the term they gave for what my "title" on the lease would be but that I would be placed on it.

Now, I guess my question to is....can anyone, like my fathers wife's children, who are greedy as hell take the lease rights away from me if they were to get the property deeded over into their names and keep me off of it? Because the only name on the O&G lease would be my fathers name and myself.

Would the Oil & Gas Co. allow that to happen? Would they even speak to anyone else about the lease or anything pertaining to it when their names are not on the lease, even thought they may own the property eventually??

I really appreciate any all help with this!!

Thanks again!!

Did your father's wife have a will when she died?

Yes, She did. She had all willed to my father of course but her son was the executor and never carried out his job to have her filed with the county and the property deed transferred to my father :/

That might present a challenge. Did copies of her will get filed anywhere, even if not in the county where the minerals are?

No they have not been filed anywhere with anyone.

It looks like you are going to need a good attorney to help with this.

Is there a copy of the will anywhere besides her son's possession? Maybe her attorney or something.

Did your father inherit his wife’s minerals when his wife died? If she didn’t have a will, the State Intestacy laws will control. The names on the lease don’t really mean anything if your father and then you didn’t inherit the mineral interests. If you inherited through your father the full interest, I would get a knowledgeable attorney to draft a conveyance document transferring the minerals from your stepmom to you. From what you’ve said, it’s possible that they were the inheritors, not your father or you. Good luck on straightening this out.

Happydays 32,

Sounds like you have a mess on your hands and don't have a clear title to the minerals. It would surprise me if the oil company would pay anyone if they drilled a well. Get a good oil & Gas attorney and start working on this.

Thanks James I appreciate the reply! My father never inherited any part of the lease. He was the first one to sign and have it created. The lease shows him as the sole owner of the lease and no one else.

Now with the POA I have on my dad they said they would now put me on the lease also. But if the other kids from his wife's prior marriage get the property into their names can they then take the lease away from me or out of my fathers name and into theirs just bc they are now the surface owners? lol

Okay very good, thanks for the feed back Virginia I see myself doing just that :/