Deadline on claiming mineral rights

Is there a deadline on when you can claim your inherited mineral rights?

I just found out I’m an heir to mineral rights in Ritchie county WV. My Aunt on my dad’s side of family died in 2023. She was given the mineral rights after her mother (my grandmother) died in 2014. She said she was the only living child and only heir. My dad died in 1995 he had 7 kids. Me included.

I received from Antero Resources a lease agreement they want me to sign within to weeks. I want to know if I don’t sign it will I loose the claim on my rights? I just don’t feel comfortable signing it as it is a very small amount and I feel they are just trying to cover up for there mistake 10 yrs ago when they should have contacted me and my siblings. I feel they owe me royalties from back then. What should I do?

Thank you.

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I would suggest contacting a lawyer experienced with gas/oil leases. I have used Kyle Nuttall, he is licensed in WV. He was most helpful for me and my family.


Thank you SilviaG. This is all new to us. Any advice is much appreciated.

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Interesting. We received basically the same modified lease agreement from Antero through a land man that was looking for all the current heirs. We contacted Rokisky Law Offices and found them to be very helpful. The letter included a W-9 and the modified lease agreement. We were surprised we owned rights in the Pine Grove region of Wetzel County, WV. It sounds pretty standard as long as these wells have been in production and the lease is still valid. Even though we were never contacted about these wells, the royalty divide was so small we just ended up signing within the time frame dictated by the letter. Not sure that was the right move. Good luck.

Thank you heartfelt for your reply. We didn’t sign the lease. I’m hoping that was the right move. It was only for $250 bonus and they said royalties would only be maybe twenty a month or something like that.

It’s my husband that inherited the mineral rights and they are saying it’s just for gross acres 0.50 so net acres is 0.0070 or something.

My husband’s dad died in ,1995. His grandmother (his dad’s mom) died in 2014 and at that time my husband’s aunt said she was the only child on the form when she was signed over the property. That’s back in 2014. 10 years they have been drilling and producing wells and oil and collecting the royalties on 200+ acres. We feel the oil company Antero did not do there job in contacting my husband and his siblings so they owe us. 10 years back. So now that the aunt died they are going to come at us with $250 anf maybe $20 a month. Lol.

I need a good attorney. We don’t have a lot of money though. I don’t know anything about this stuff and neither does my husband.

Anyway thanks for listening :blush:

It is a learning curve for us that have never done this. Dad inherited through my Mom. Wish Mom had been alive to get the inheritance as she would have been so tickled. Our portions are very tiny, decimal in size! I’ve done our family tree off & on for many years. I knew who the inheritance was from when I heard her name (2nd great Aunt).

I did a crash course about mineral rights in Wetzel Co. WV, and wrote down questions, and searched to answers to those questions. It can be so much information, it makes your head spin.

Initially, I notified my known cousins who also inherited and 8 of us contributed to the cost of a lawyer. My cousin was the point person with that lawyer and contract.

Another inheritance came, when I was notified through Ancestry, from a landman. A lot of what they were saying didn’t sound right to me. That’s when I contacted Kyle Nuttall. He was of great help to us.

It is very time consuming for the lawyers to do research and file required forms. Some of the deeds from 100-200 years ago are difficult to read. There were land disputes, land sales and repurchased, etc. Court documents aren’t always easy to find. Many items are not available on line and you have to go to the courthouse to search. It can be very involved to find one document. It can be daunting.

I feel like we are in exactly the same spot. Antero sent a letter for my deceased mother, it got forwarded to my sister (executrix) so we were able to contact antero. But i feel the same you do. One distant relative that has been getting the inheritance said it wasnt his fault the oil company messed up. My mom deserved her inheritance and its hurtful she never received it. We are in the process of proving heirship etc so this is going to take a while. Its discouraging when they come with such a low offer but lawyers can be expensive. With such a small percentage it would be nice if the family would all come together to get the true outcome. Our minerals are in Wetzel County Green district. Descendants of Wright/Tustin. If we are working on the same mineral rights, feel free to connect back and maybe we can work on it together

It is the responsibility of the mineral owner to keep their records up to date at the county clerk’s office and is NOT the responsibility of the operator. In actuality, Antero is going beyond it’s duties as operator to help you get your title up to date. They could just keep the funds suspended until such time as the mineral owner gets the title cleared or they could turn the revenue over to the state, who will require the same things before paying rightful owners. A bonus of $250.00 & revenue of ~$20/month may not seem like much. But I’ll bet if you donated the same to a worth while charity of your choosing, they would be very grateful.

I was responding to Myright, not SylviaG

Todd, Thank you for your input. I think you took it wrong. My sister and I just got the input from Antero. Our mother passed away and the lease was sent to her. Thankfully, it was forwarded or we would have never known about. At this point I dont even feel my mother knew about. So being the mineral owner now, this is all new to the people that are getting letters. I was replying to SylviaG, thinking they may be in our family and we could work together to get the descendants correct for Antero. I signed the offer, and returned it and am providing Antero with family names. I would like for you to realize you responded to the wrong person. I did not say anything about the offer or the $20/month. My goal is to get the family tree correct. Honesty, is very hard to come by in this world. Its a shame that those that have collected and didnt bother to have the rest of the family included, just accepted the royalties. I definitely dont want that on my conscience . No worries on the charity, trust me, or dont, but I do all I can.

I don’t know how to send a private message. I can try to help for your family tree. I don’t want to put private information here.

Sounds like yalls interest came from a typical reservation around 1900-1920 where landowners drilled small gas wells to heat their homes and when they sold some land, they made a weird reservation that was interpretted for decades as not reserving minerals, just the gas to heat the homes. When the “fracking” came in to play 10-15 years ago and the area started taking off, there was little to no oil and gas case law which has changed the last couple years, why you all are now getting those admendments. Keep in mind, the interest now being leased stems from your great grandparents or whomever owned the land during that time frame, so depending on how many kids/heirs they had, then how many kids/heirs they had and so on, it can get diluted rather quickly. So, if someone says you might own 100 acres from your great grandpa or great aunt, dont rush out and spend money. nor hire an attorney until they finish up their findings and tell you what exactly they believe you to own bc the process is quite time consuming/aka expensive.and its more than likely youll be lucky to walk away with 5 acres

Hello! Could you clarify if the agreement was a “Lease offer” or a Lease Modification/Lease Amendment? If it was a lease offer, then the property has probably not been drilled yet. If it is a modification or amendment, then it may be for existing wells in production that would pay you a royalty. In either case, you can negotiate with the company for better terms. Am I right to take it you inherited from your aunt in 2023? I’m confused about the 10 years back question if that is the case. Was your grandmother getting royalties but your aunt did not?

It was a lease offer.

Hello everyone! Thanks so much for your replies. Wow. I apologize I haven’t been responding. I have been swamped with work.

Update on what’s been going on:

The only thing new is we have a consultation on the 24th with Attorney Kyle Nuttall So I’m hoping he can tell us what direction to go.

I have been doing my husband’s family tree on and come to find out the mineral rights ownership in the family dates back to 1912. My husbands father whom he originally would have inherited the rights from died at 54 years old. My husband never knew his dad since his mom and dad separated when he was an infant. His dad died without my husband ever getting to meet him.

My husband’s Aunt (his dad’s sister) lied when her mom (my husband’s Grandmother) died in 2014 and said she was the only heir. She never even put my husband’s dad down as her brother who is dead. You know how they ask if you have any sons/daughters, and if they are alive or dead. Well she just excluded him all together.

My husband feels cheated. He feels cheated with having never the operatunity to know his dad and then cheated out of something his dad had to give him.

His Aunt, on her death bed, admitted she had lied about there being other heirs.

Thanks again to you all for listening :blush::blush:

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Yes I can date them back to 1912