Letter regarding mineral rights

I recently received a letter from a landman saying that my great grand parents had owned land in Live Oak county and thet they had retained 1/2 of the mineral rights when it was sold. However those rights were never conveyed after their death and now he is trying to find my dad as well as other family members. I have spoken to my dad and aunt and they say this is a hoax.

How would I verify the information to see if this is real or not?

If it's a matter of the ownership of land, there should be a deed in the county recorders office, the deed of sale for the land reserving the 50% mineral rights should be there also.

That was not uncommon at all in that time period for them to reserver 1/2 mineral rights when they sold property.

What my dad is saying is that he never knew about any mineral rights. From what I have found out everything seems to be in order but my dad and aunt do not want to bother with it because they say it is not true. I am trying to find out if the mioneral rights exist or if this is a hoax. I dont see what anyone has to gain by telling us we have some mineral rights that belong to us. I still have to follow up with the courthouse on the deed.

Maybe they will be willing to deed their share to you in advance of you spending time (and/or money) researching it! :)

There is not a lot to gain from a hoax. It sounds like a typical situation where they are trying to lease. I’ve had to research 3-4 the past year because the landmen found them during the title search and they were not included in the previous two probates and subsequent transfers. I’ve found a few more I’m trying to get worked out before the next probate comes along.

It sounds like the landman has the primary info you need, give him a call. I’m not familiar with the Texas county records, but he should be able to give you enough of a description of the deed to find it at the Live Oak County office. A call to the county clerk’s office should get you the info you need to request a copy. The landman may even provide it. Remember him if he does and give him preferential treatment on the leasing of the rights.

Getting the title up to date will likely take a bit of work by an attorney. Hopefully the heirs will be willing to share the expenses.

Hopefully some of the professionals here will give you some tips more specific to Texas.

Thank you for your help.

Dear Ms. Kramer,

There is nothing to hoax about in this situation. The landman feels certain that the grandfather owed mineral rights on some property that he sold, perhaps even before Dad was born. The landman is looking for information concerning the estate of your grandfather so that he can ascertain title and make a lease offer to you. It is much to your benefit to assist.

There is a lot going on in Live Oak County right now.

Leslie Kramer said:

Thank you for your help.

My gosh, one reads regularly on this board how people suddenly learn they own minerals that they never knew about. There is nothing unusual in this. I would check it out for sure, and I would not assume there is anything remiss in what the landman has told you. Parts of Live Oak County are in the Eagle Ford Shale and as Buddy says, lots of activity going on right now, plus, it is a county with lots of oil and gas production outside the EFS. Good luck.

Lots of ranches in South Texas, including Live Oak Co., were once divided into 10-20 acre ranches in the 1920’s. there are a lot of people finding out they had minerals they did not know about.

I estimate that 90% of the current-day NPRI owners I identified and located had no idea that they had royalty interests in various wells. Some of them say, "Well, how is it possible that I own the NPRI because it was not in Dad's or Mom's Inventory and Appraisement from their Probate." I tell them, "Well, what if your Dad and Mom had no idea that they owned it either?" They say, "Oh, that would explain it." The oldest NPRI or severed mineral interest I ever ran out was from 1895, so it's easy to see how even several generations of heirs and heirs-at-law would have no idea that the interest was "out there."

One of the most satisfying moments of my career was when I contacted one NPRI heiress by telephone to inform her of her windfall. I said, "It's not going to translate into a whole lot of money, and there is no way for me to predict what kind of payment it will be, but it might be $300-$400 per month." She started crying, and I asked why. She said, "I am a single mom with three kids and three jobs. Even if the royalties are only $300 per month, I can quit one of my jobs and spend more time with my children." That made my day.