JTWROS versus Joint Tentants With Rights of Survivorship


#1

Hi there,

I recently had an oil and gas company in Oklahoma tell me that they were not sure if they could make out division orders to my husband and I as “joint tenants with rights of survivorship” because on the Mineral deed it listed our names and just “JTWROS” after. The company stated that they were not sure if it was legal in Oklahoma to grant “joint tenants with rights of survivorship” if it was not spelled out entirely on the actual mineral deed.They suggested I talk to a lawyer about the matter. I have been working in the oil and gas field and requesting division orders for years in Oklahoma and have never run across a company having an issue with “JTWROS” on a deed. I thought that either was sufficient to secure title (and consequently division orders) as joint tentants with rights of survivorship.

Could anyone tell me if there is any LEGAL difference in writing “joint tentants with rights of survivorship” versus “JTWROS” on a deed?

Your help is much appreciated.

Tiffany


#2

I’m not an attorney, but I can’t see how that would matter much. From what you describe, the MD lists you and husband as the grantee - JTWROS is the capacity - but you both are still the owners. Unless they take it to mean something else and that it’s limiting, which would be a stretch. Even googling ‘JTWROS’ shows its’ widely correlated with ‘Joint Tenancy With Rights Of Survivorship’.

Anyway, it would be interesting to hear an attorneys take.


#3

As a general rule, a deed must be read in its entirety to determine the legal effects of the transfer. It is never a good idea to use initials instead of writing out the words. Otherwise there is ambiguity in the meaning. For example, does PSA mean a Purchase and Sale Agreement or a Production Sharing Agreement or something else? You need to consult an Oklahoma title attorney to see what, if anything, may need to be done to clarify the title. It will depend on the exact wording in the body of the document and case law. If the deed is sufficient , then your attorney can provide a letter to the oil company explaining this position.


#4

Thank you for your input! I appreciate it!


#5

You can do a quick claim deed to yourselves with the language instead of the initials. This should fix the problem.