We were contacted about an inheritance for mineral rights in Reeves County. The man was gathering facts on all family members involved, hired by the oil co. Now he is off the case and we don’t know what to do next. Do we need to hire a Mineral Rights Attorney?
Until you receive a written offer giving the terms of a proposed lease I wouldn’t start spending money with an attorney.
Since you indicate a number of family members may share in that mineral interest I would try to contact as many of them as possible and see if they’ll agree to work together on future lease negotiations…by sharing information and agreeing not to accept an offer until the group can consider it. That kind of informal agreement isn’t always easy to obtain but the more individual interests you have working together the more negotiating leverage you will have. Sharing legal expense, if needed, would also be logical to discuss, and depending on the number of individual interest involved, see if they’ll agree for you, or some other knowledgeable member, to act as the contact person on future negotiations.
If you haven’t found it already, go to the Mineral Help section at the top line of this page and read the various articles on leasing.
I agree with Dusty that it doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of money on an attorney right now - and to try to work with family members to form a block and negotiate together to share expenses.
That being said, it might be worth reaching out to an attorney to help you understand the situation - and that doesn’t have to be expensive. Many attorneys offer free consultations.
Thank you this is helpful. I appreciate you taking the time to response.
Thank you so much for responding. I appreciate you taking the time.
Please get an attorney, otherwise, the lease will strongly favor the operator. You need someone to negotiate on your behalf. I recommend Wade Caldwell.
Thank you Helen. I appreciated your suggestion and taking the time to answer.
I agree that a legal representation is premature. I also agree that the first step is to contact your family members that might also be affected - that they form a pool to represent the family entity. Then, among the group, identify a single point of contact.
Then, have the contact research for a “Landman” that’s experienced in the county where your rights are located. Give him/her as much information on the rights that you have, plus the full legal name of the original owner. Ask them to research and photocopy the county records for the full legal description, percentage owned, and any other owners that may share in the plot. They should be able to supply you the full record of the stake, needed for any negotiations that will come down the line with operating companies.
I was in the same boat as you - where do I go? I followed this process with holdings both in Oklahoma and Texas. The landman charges were roughly $100/day plus expenses. Total cost was just over $200; it took him only a few hours at the county seat; the rest was gas/lunch. In the end, I had all I needed for the next step. Very successful.
Here is a description of a Landman that I ran across: Independent field landmen serve clients on a contract basis and are generally the industry’s contact with the public as they research courthouse records to determine ownership and prepare necessary reports, locate mineral/land owners and negotiate oil and gas leases and various other agreements with them, obtain necessary curative documents and conduct surface inspections before drilling.
Independent land consultants serve clients on a contract basis and much effort is directed to due diligence examinations required in the purchase and sale of companies and properties.
I had a very similar situation happen. I was contacted out of the blue and told that I had inherited an ORRI, 1% of 325 acres in Lea County NM. Much like you, I was unsure of what to do and did not know where to look. I tried a few places online, all of which told me the property was worthless. I was told that the property was worthless, BLM land, potash mines, etc…When it was all said and done, it was worth 540k, after an original offer of 320k. I did not use an attorney, instead, I went to a 3rd party that negotiated my ORRI sale. Hope this helps.
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