Mineral And Land Rights

I inherited land and oil rights fthat was in a trust from my parents. After they both died, it did not go thru probate by a lawyer but by the executors person that was handling the account. He said it would be less expensive this way.

It was divided evenly between the heirs. My land and mineral rights are in my name but not my wife’s. Do I need to change it to both our names or is it okay to leave as is. Also, we did not get any paperwork on the deeds. Is this normal. We have asked the executor several times and says he will give it to us but never did.

I think the deeds or in a bank and he is still looking over them. Another question, can he borrow against and do what he wants with the land. And how can I find out if their are any liens against it?




I'm curious about the "executor's person" who was taking the will through probate, but I'm not going to touch that one right now. How long ago did you inherit the property - when did your parents die and when did the trust end?

If the property was taken out of the trust, and inherited by you as a part of your parent's estate, then the property is owned by you as your sole and separate property. Because it was inherited, your wife has no interest in the property. If you decide you want her to have an interest you can execute a deed giving her an interest. If the deeds have been filed of record in the county clerk's office in the county where the property is located, then you can go and get a copy.

The executor of your parent's estate generally has no right to borrow against the property, because he does not own it. He has a fiduciary duty to divide and distribute your parent's property according to their stated wishes. However, there are certain circumstances where the executor could sell the property in order to pay debts owed by the estate, or if there is specific language in the will that allows the executor to sell the property. However, because the property was in a trust, it would be up to the trustee to distribute the property upon termination of the trust.

I suggest you go to the contact the county clerk's office where your parent's resided at their death and obtain a copy of the probates filed for your parents to see what has actually been done, as well as contacting the county clerk where the property is located to see if deeds have been filed by the trustee or executor.

As for determining if their is a lien on the land, you will have to check the county records where the land is located, and search by the executor's name.


Warren, I'm not sure what you mean about no Probate and the "executor" person handling your parents' account, but in Texas, intestate succession (passing of ownership by death where there is no will) can be established by an Heirship Affidavit. This Affidavit would give the life and marital history of the deceased parties, i.e. John Doe born 1/1/1900 in Acorn, Texas, died 1/1/2000 in Houston, Texas. Parents, all marriages, all children (living and dead) and the children's marital state, etc. An affidavit filed in the counties where the mineral interest lies is sufficient to pass title and serve notice on anyone searching the records. If the "executor" has the authority to use the bank account, he/she might have the authority to transfer ownership, sell, borrow or take any other action as to property of the decedents. Of course, some people take upon themselves "authority" whether legal or not. If you are truly concerned I would recommend that you contact your local Legal Aid group and speak with them or contact an attorney in your area. Good Luck and I hope this helps.

1. In Texas, any property that you inherit is your SEPARATE PROPERTY, meaning that it belongs to you only and not you AND your spouse, at the time of inheritance. That's why your "land and mineral rights" are in your name, not your wife's. If you want you AND your wife to own the property, then convey half of it to her in a new Deed, or a better option would be to convey the property from you to you AND your wife as your COMMUNITY PROPERTY.

2. If the Will was not probated, then there was no Executor involved, so how can the Executor provide you with any Deeds? Perhaps there was no Executor but there WAS an Administrator appointed by the court to settle the Estate? Either way, there should be a Deed executed by the Executor or the Administrator to YOU! If there was no Executor AND no Administrator, then the ownership would follow the laws of intestacy in your state, which might or might not be more beneficial for you than following the Will.

3. An Executor or Administrator cannot do what they are not authorized to do, either by the Will or by the Probate Court.