Documenting ownership

what documents should be in my hands before I receive my first royalty check ? I have zero documentation as it stands now. I expect my first check in a few weeks. I share my rights with my cousins and siblings.

You may not get that first check if you don’t have documentation. You don’t say how you are getting your rights, but you want copies of the deed, any probate documents that say you own it, lease, Division Orders if there is production, old check stubs, fair market valuation, death certificates, etc. Anything that proves you have ownership. All owners should have copies or scans. All probate documents need to be filed in the county of residence of the deceased and in all other counties where mineral rights are owned. If there is production, all operators must be notified of the change in heirship. Those are just the basics. If you are inheriting, have a information talk with the executor or attorney handling the probate.

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minerals are intestate via my grandpa and his deed, his children have died so that left the spouses at time of deaths, now tho there are cousins being owners too including myself and my two siblings. royalties have been mailed out since 2015. so indeed I should have had copy of deed plus the heirship affidavit plus the division order !! there was no probate done. so yes I did NOT find out about “my wells” til May 2018 whereupon the oil company suspended our family

If you have already contacted the operator and they are going to cut you a check, then you may be able to get a copy of the lease and division orders from them. You can walk backwards at the county clerk and get a copy of the original deed by paying for it.