I am the executor of my uncle’s estate. He owned mineral rights in Greer County, OK. I did some searches and found out that Galmor /MSG Oil and Gas manages these wells. I cannot get in contact with this company. I know I can have the county clerk record the deeds, but how do I get the heirs their own deeds?
That would be a legal question. One of the OK attorneys in the Directory may be able to guide you in the right direction.
Lisa: The answer to your question will be in what does the Will say? You may be able as Executor, to transfer the minerals as per the Will without going completely through the probate process. In that case, you as Executor would execute deeds to the heirs and have those deeds recorded. If not, the probate process should have a Final Order issued that will act as the document to transfer title to the heirs and that will then be filed with the county clerk. To file a probate, unfortunately, you will need to hire an attorney. You should be able to locate the operators on the OCC website by putting in your section, township & range.
Thanks, Todd There was no will found, so after dealing with the lawyers for months, everything goes to my uncle’s siblings. I am the appointed representative of the estate. I have been able to get some deeds from other counties recorded, as well as new deeds. The shares in Greer are trickier. I have the deed with my uncle’s name, but I want to get a deed for each of the heirs. I cannot get in touch with the company that manages those wells. They have not produced anything for a while so they are probably worthless, but for the sake of doing my duty to the estate, I feel I must get these shares in the names of the heirs. Is there some agency that supersedes the management company?
In Oklahoma, the final probate order that distributes property to the heirs is the equivalent of a deed. If the probate is not in an Oklahoma court, you deeds will not be effective.
Companies or agencies have nothing to do with title requirements. The County Clerk for each county records instruments.
I’m glad to hear that probate order may be equivalent to a deed, but the company that pays the royalties needs to be made aware that there has been a change in ownership. How do we do that if we cannot get ahold of anyone there? Is there an agency that can help with this?
What Section, township and Range in Greer Co? There may have been an operator change. I can check the wells. If they are shut in or plugged, then you do not have to worry about the address change with the operator.
The operator is Steve Galmor DBA MSG Oil and Gas. I found that info online and called them. No answer, just voicemail. So now I am wondering if there is another agency that supersedes the operator so I can get the deeds. Even if it is not producing, I want to divide it among the heirs so it’s done and they can deal with it.
It is the “west half of the NW quarter and the North Half of the SW Quarter of the section 17, Township seven North, range 22, West of the Indian Meridian containing 160 acres, more or less.”
The operator has nothing to do with the deeds. The deeds go to the mineral owners if needed. Sounds like the probate will suffice in this case.
Wall #1 NW 17-07N-22W PUN #055-051582-0-0000. Operator on the OK tax site is listed as Marion Energy Inc. #21924 Operator number. Sold to MSG Oil & Gas #19003-0 Oct 20, 2014 . Reservoir Granite Wash. No production since April 2018. Steve Galmor DBA MSG Oil and Gas PO Box 2172 Elk City OK 73648. You can find the form 1073 on the OCC well list. His phone and email are listed there.
Bowman #2 SW 17-07N-22W PUN #055-051196-0-0000. Same info. Last production December 2017.
Since there is no production, you do not need to notify the company unless you just want to. You could ask for a release of lease. It has been over a year with no production for both wells. Did they send any shut in payments? If not, then the lease has expired by its own terms.
The final probate order needs to be filed in Greer County and any other county where there are minerals.
HI, and thanks for your response. I don’t know if they sent any shut in payments. My uncle died without a will so the heirs were automatically his next of kin, and I was appointed as the administrator. Everything was unorganized! If the MSG Company doesn’t issue those deeds, then who does? I sent my admin papers to the recorders office and I also want those pieces of papers for the heirs. Even if they aren’t producing, I want them out of my uncle’s name and in their names. Or release from lease would be good if the wells are finished. The well he had was the Bowman #2. I found three phone numbers for MSG/Galmor and all have the same voicemail message and no response from them. The email is undeliverable. So one of my main questions is : How do I get those deeds with the heirs’ names on them? I thought it would be MSG. Also, would the value be zero? We need to figure that out for the tax return. Thanks! I am very unfamiliar with all this. Lisa
If there is no Will, you are not an Executor. A court having jurisdiction (in Oklahoma) can appoint a Personal Representative and that can be done by filing a probate. Due to the minimal value of the minerals that is probably not an economic alternative. If it were me, I would just put an Affidavit of Heirship of record stating the information that you have about your uncle, ie name, date of death, where he was domiciled when he passed and the lineage of his heirs, their names & addresses. You should check with a legal person, but it is my understanding that you can’t deed anything to anyone because you don’t own anything or haven’t been given any authority to deed anything that is owned by your uncle.
I have letters of administration. The lawyers drew them up. And you’re correct. I’m not the executor. I am the appointed representative. The papers are notarized and name the heirs, and name me as the appointed representative. I sent these papers to the county clerk to be recorded. I am still trying to find out how to get new deeds with the name of the heirs on them.
Pretty sure that if you have the papers, you don’t need new deeds as the papers show the title chain for each owner. Check with Richard Winblad comments above.
But then how does the management company know who to send the royalties to?
Only active producing companies need the information on current wells in order to put the new owners in pay status… The new mineral owners are responsible for contacting the companies. The Executor or Administrative agent does not have to. In the case of 17-17N-22W, there is no production so the owners do not have to contact the operator to get paid. Deeds or probate documents are in the legal realm. The companies that are operators only need copies of them to change the payment address and mineral owner name. Any new leasing will come from landmen looking in the county courthouses for owners. Mineral acres can either be producing or non producing. That is why the title documents must be filed in the courthouses. That is the true repository of information.
So if the well starts producing, the operator will start paying. But will they check the recorder’s office to get the names of the new deed holders? Even though it isn’t my responsibility, I want to get the new deed. One of the heirs is my 91 year old father and I don’t want him to have to figure it out. Plus, in a few years (unfortunately) I will inherit some of my father’s shares. And it would be nice to have this step done, and have established a relationship with the operator. The deeds are recorded, so that is done. My main issue is how do I get in touch if there is no response from the well’s operator? Do I just mail it and hope that someone is there to collect the mail, even if the email address is dead?
If there is going to be any new production in a section, the mineral acres have to be leased first. The leasing agent checks the county courthouse first to run a leasing title opinion. They will look for deeds or probate filings. Once the land is leased or pooled, then the operator will run a second title check for the Division Order Title Opinion. This title check is usually more rigorous than the first one since this is where the real money is. Then they will send out a Division Order to the people that have clear title. They will send out a curative title letter to folks that have a cloud on their title and tell them what they have to do to fix it.
If you are held by production right now, then contact the current operators and ask what they need in order to put the new heirs in pay status. Some only need a copy of the probate. If there is no production in a certain section, then you do not have to notify the operator as the lease is no longer in effect. Just make sure that the probate documents are filed in every county where the minerals are owned-productive or not. The county courthouse is the starting point for every title issue. Not the operators as they change and go all the time.
The operators only check the courthouse when they have a new well in a new section come online and they have to run a completely new title opinion.
If they have current wells in a previously producing section and drill a new well in that section, they are relying on the old Division Order Title Opinions. That is why the mineral owner has to contact them if any title events happen.
Any time you send information regarding a title issue or taxes or money of any kind, always send by certified mail return receipt so that you know whether it got there or not. Keep copies of everything.
For this particular section, 17-17N-22W, there is no production so you do not have to inform the operator. Their relationship with the lease is over. Do file the probate in Greer county, so it will be there in the future. If you have other sections with no production, file the probate in each of those counties so that it will be on file for the future. If you have other sections with production, contact the current operator give new heirs names and addresses and probate info and also file the probate in each county so that it will be on file for the future.
Thanks, I think I understand better now. I was not sure if the operator would check the county records, or just go by who actually has the physical deeds. I recorded with the county clerk, so I think we’re good.
Since I cannot contact the current “operators” I don’t need to worry about it. Thank you for the information. It is very helpful and very much appreciated!
Ask your Oklahoma attorney who will confirm that a “deed” is not needed if the probate order divides the property, lists the heirs and their shares. It is also important to have the heirs addresses in that order. This transfers the property. This portion is done. If royalties become due, the new owners will need to provide information in order to receive payment. Again, this is not a deed.