How to preserve mineral rights


I would like to eventually transfer some mineral rights that are currently listed in the various Deeds as belonging to my Father or Grandfather here in California. It looks like getting these things transferred is non-trivial and will likely require a probate attorney, etc.

In the meantime I was going through some of my deceased fathers records and found a “NOTICE OF INTENT TO PRESERVE MINER RIGHTS AND EASEMENTS”.

This document was recorded with the county and appears to be pretty basic.

So, my question is, can I just fill one of these out for each of the 4 parcels that I would like to get eventually transferred into my name?

Quick History: Grandfather died before Grandmother and his Will left everything to her (mineral rights not explicitly mentioned), Grandmother died before my father and her Will left everything to him (mineral rights not explicitly mentioned), my Father died several years ago and Im the Executor of his estate.

Thanks in advance! Steve

You need to consult a California oil and gas title attorney as that is a specialized question requiring knowledge of California law. That attorney can help you file documents required to transfer title from your grandfather through all the owners to you. If probate was never filed for any one of your predecessors in title, then it may be a more complicated procedure. You should have a probate / estate attorney helping you with your father’s estate who can likely get all this done. I have no knowledge of California law, but Texas generally requires that a will be filed within 4 years of death or else the assets pass under the intestacy statute which may not provide the same beneficiaries.


Agree with Tennis Daze on consulting a California atty. The document you found has nothing to do with transferring an interest.

California has a dormant mineral act wherein if there is no activity of leasing, production or filing a preservation document for 20 years, then the interest reverts to the surface interest. To preserve a mineral interest, a mineral owner may file an intent to preserve the mineral rights.

The statute recites in part: 883.230. (a) An owner of a mineral right may at any time record a notice of intent to preserve the mineral right. (2236)

(b) In lieu of the statement of the character of the interest claimed and the record location of the documents creating or evidencing the mineral rights claimed as otherwise required by paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 880.330 and in lieu of the legal description of the real property in which the interest is claimed as otherwise required by paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 880.330 and notwithstanding the provisions of Section 880.340 or any other provision in this title, a notice of intent to preserve a mineral right may refer generally and without specificity to any or all mineral rights claimed by claimant in any real property situated in the county. (2237)

(c) A mineral right is not dormant for the purpose of this article if: (2238)

(1) A notice of intent to preserve the mineral right is recorded within 20 years immediately preceding commencement of the action to terminate the mineral right. (2239)

(2) A notice of intent to preserve the mineral right is recorded pursuant to Section 883.250 after commencement of the action to terminate the mineral right. (2240)

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Wow Tim, How helpful you are ! Along with many others on this forum. Just wanted to say “Bravo”

Thanks for all you do !

awww, shucks. Thanks.

Thanks TennisDaze and tim_dowd. I’ve started looking (again) for an attorney. I tried once before but smaller shops didn’t seem knowledgeable and the bigger ones were not interested. But Ill keep looking.

Cheers, Steve

Steve, the directory above does show attorneys. But they don’t seem to be in California. I would suggest you look in Sacramento and/or Bakersfield, where there is some oil & gas activity.

Just to be clear, it is the law of the state where the minerals are located that needs to be applied. I wasn’t sure if it was just the grand parents in California, or if it was the grandparents and minerals in CA. If the minerals were in Oklahoma, Texas or elsewhere visit with a probate attorney in that state.

This post is not legal, investment or tax advice, it is for discussion purposes only. Reading or responding to this post does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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