Mineral Title Curative in Colorado

You sign an oil and gas lease, but before you are paid, the company tells you that certain curative requirements must be met. This often comes up when someone has passed away and the title remains in the deceased owner’s name on the county books. Companies anxiously wanting to lease up your acreage may provide you with certain documents to “fix” the title issues. As many agents and companies mean well in providing the documentation, not all of the documentation provided may actually fix the problem, and in some instances such documentation may actually cloud your title and require additional steps later on to fix or correct the problem. Any “curative” documents offered by leasing agent, especially out of state should be viewed cautiously and their appropriateness confirmed before execution and delivery to the leasing agent.

Basics on Curative in Colorado

Title requirements and the manner in which title issues are fixed vary from state to state. Common mechanisms in Colorado include the use of quitclaim deeds or stipulations of interests to fix ownership issues. Other, more complicated issues such as discrepancies in ownership, deeds, or similar are typically handled through a quiet title action. When the curative issue involves title solely in the name of a deceased, then a probate in Colorado must be initiated, because oil, gas, and minerals rights are considered real property and therefore are subject to Colorado’s probate process.

What Doesn’t Work in Colorado

Affidavits of Heirship are commonly offered in Colorado by leasing agents to transition ownership from a deceased owner to its heirs. This procedure and document appear to originate in North Dakota or another state, but in any event, it is legally insufficient to update ownership from the deceased to the heirs in Colorado. Furthermore, the recording of Affidavits of Heirship may further cloud the title rather than clear it up. Other documents such as “Executor’s Mineral Deed” without a probate also do not resolve or update ownership of a deceased in Colorado. Subsequent blog postings will provide more information on Colorado’s probate process.

Cautiously View Curative

If you receive documents from a leasing agent to cure a title issue, view these documents with caution. Take the opportunity to determine the correct process to ensure that the title issues don’t end up worse before they get better.

Jenna H. Keller, Esq.

Attorney at Keller Law, LLC. (www.kellerlawllc.com)

Jenna H. Keller provides legal services to farmers, ranchers, rural property owners, and severed mineral interest owners in the areas of estate planning, natural resources (oil, gas, wind), real estate, and water in Nebraska and Colorado.

The information is for general information purposes only. This should not be substituted for legal advice and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or reading does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. You are encouraged to contact an attorney for legal advice concerning the information provided.

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