Mineral Transfer Language

I have recently been reviewing a family deed inwhich my grandparents who owned both the surface and mineral rights transfered the property via a deed into their living trust. There were multiple properties involved in the deed each with an attached discription. On one of those had a discription that read "surface only" but did not specifically reserve the minerals as the other property discriptions did. My quesiton? Does the term "surface only" without a specific reservation i.e. 1/8 of 1/2 etc constitute a reservation of minerals? This Property is in Texas.

Dear Mr. Lyssy,

Without seeing the entire document, the answer is a non-qualified yes, the minerals were not included in the conveyance, probably because the grandparents acquired the property as surface only.

This speculation is by seeing the identical situation hundreds of times in various chains of title.

I believe that the minerals were in her name since she had inherited the property. She owned 1/8 from a deed 50 yrs earlier. For some reason they opted not to deed the mineral estate into the trust or made a mistake. The property was then conveyed out of the trust to child 1 and child 2 inwhich child 2 deeded to child 1 by a deed with the same discription. A lease was performed by child 1 with a large oil company and title research performed no problems an no child 2. Now a top lease company wants in and has contacted child 2 telling them that they actually still own half interest and are eligible for full leasing at a much higher amount. We had our atty look at it and they stated that the discription must be a specific reservation i.e. 1/8 or 1/2 etc. so child 1 is correct. the top lease company states that the term “surface only” is enough? Have you seen this before and your thoughts?

I agree with your attorney. The top lease company may feel that they have a position of one of a mutual mistake which may just support their position. BUT, with an outstanding written no warranty of title clause, grant the top lease. Make sure that the no warranty clause is airtight as to determination of title and no return of any monies paid.