Colorado Taxes

My grandfather owned mineral rights in 8 counties in Colorado (Washington, Lincoln, Jackson, Morgan, Logan, Elbert, Arapahoe, and Yuma). He passed away in 1963 in Arkansas; where his will was probated. His will was not probated in Colorado as far as I know. His wife and children received royalties through the will. His wife passed in 1993, and similarly her will was not probated in the state of Colorado. Her will left everything to their children. My father and other descendants are being paid royalties (to some extent) in Colorado. My father is, and has, paid property taxes on both the producing and unleased minerals that were owned by his father probably since the 1960’s. I know this because the tax invoices are in my grandfather’s name. I’m guessing the taxing entities just sent the invoices to folks with the same last name hoping someone would pay, and my father took this up.

From a value proposition, I’m not thinking there’s anything economically viable that can be done here to clean this up; but that’s basically my question. My father receives a very nominal amount per year in royalties from Yuma county. None of the other counties are in pay (or else they are in suspense, but I doubt that as there is no money for any of our Meinert’s on Colorado’s unclaimed property site……). He pays a few hundred bucks across the 8 counties in taxes (again – the invoices are all in his father’s name).

I’m interested in this issue for the below reasons.

(a) I have no interest in paying property taxes on behalf of my 11 cousins once the current generation passes away; but this will most certainly fall on me as no one other than myself has any interest in royalties. (b) If at some point I make efforts to purchase royalties from my cousins, I’m going to guess that while companies may have been fine issuing a lease with title gaps just to get a well drilled – they’d probably want all of these issues cleaned up before they’d start paying a different owner. In other words, I doubt the next generation is going to get paid without cleaning up title. Perhaps I’m just jaded……………

I’ve reached out to an attorney and as might be expected, it’s thousands of dollars to fix this.

my father always said, never get rid of minerals - but in this case I’m wondering if just stopping payment on taxes is the way to go.

so the question I’m actually looking for feedback on…

I’m wondering if anyone has done a petition for the determination of heirs without legal help? yeah - I know, it’s like brain surgery on yourself - but I do note that the CO Judicial Branch website has the form.

I appreciate any feedback on this topic.


Here goes nothing, there are legitimate estate transfers filed using self help forms in Colorado and North Dakota. It is doable with (a little?) research. The devil is in the details as they say and the type of proceeding to file is an important decision. There is already a probate filed so if your father was the PR it’s possible he could file ancillary to be a foreign PR, but then you have eight counties to mess with. Generally speaking probate may be easier than a DOH as you are going to want to avoid a hearing if possible being out of state; however, it may be possible to do a DOH without a hearing, as well as, probate, informally or even formally. That being said, with multiple generations and potential probates ie both grandparents, you may be on the right track with the DOH. I’m obviously not an attorney (this is not legal advice lol) and for full disclosure I’ve hired an attorney for probate situations previously, but fees add up for drafting every document with the correct wording and layout on top of the expected filing fees.

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