My in-laws passed away last year leaving a small estate that included some paperwork for a 'paid-up oil and gas lease' in Toole County Montana that my father-in-law inherited from his mother. He didn't know anything about it until he was contacted by a law firm asking him to sign the paperwork for a 5 year lease with a 3 year extension for less than $500 in 2010. He was 80 at the time and didn't follow up on what exactly he owned. Now that we're settling their estate, we're trying to figure out what exactly we own if anything.
This is the description from the legal documents of the asset:
Township 34 North, Range 4 West, M.P.M.
Section 04: Lots 3(40), 4(39.99), S1/2NW1/4, SW1/4
Section 23: W1/2
In the next paragraph it states that the Lessor owned or claimed 639.99 acres more or less.
In the letter from the law firm they mention 11.87 acres of mineral rights that go with it.
Does anything know what this means? I've googled it till I'm blue in the face and all I get are drilling sites.
I assume this is public land, but am wondering how my in-laws could have owned it for so many years without knowing it. I think my father-in-laws parents had passed away when I met my husband 27.5 years ago and until 2010, no one knew anything about this.
We have an appointment with our attorney for next week, but would appreciate any insight or guidance you can give on what exactly we own.