Mom grew up in Richland County Montana and said we have the mineral rights to Grandpa's old farmland

Merry Christmas folks. My Mom grew up on Grandpa’s farm in Richland County Montana, Savage to be exact. She and my Uncle had to sell the farm after my Grandpa died to help pay for Grandma’s care in her later years. Mom said they still own the mineral rights to that land. Lucile Ball Corporation bought up the land (that’s what I was told). The problem is, Mom is 90 now, and has some memory issues, and I don’t think she has any paperwork on this. There are four of us Grandchildren, and Mom left. How do we find out if in fact we do still own the mineral rights? I appreciate all of your feedback.

Merry Christmas Mrs. Asinas!

Hope it is a wonderful, joyous Holiday for you and yours. I’m familiar with Texas, so to transfer this advice directly will likely require adjustments for Montana. I lived in Montana for 90% of the 1990s - I love Montana! If I were you I would check with the County Government Website for the Richland County Courthouse (or County a Government Building) and find out who handles mineral deeds. In Texas, the County Clerk handles mineral deeds. Ask the County Official to look up your relatives’ names and see if they have the information readily accessible on their computer records. You should know the legal description on the property (What section/s, Township and Range, and so forth).

If they can’t tell you much, then get to the applicable County office in person, and look at the deeds yourself. They can help you research and teach you the ins and outs of their system. You could hire a minerals manager/Landman/Attorney to look for you, too. You first need to get a copy of your Grandpa’s Will which should be probated, with a copy of the Will in their probate records. Wills are the most common way to pass down mineral rights in the family. If your Uncle passed already, you would need a copy of his Will presumably depending on the circumstances (it should be in the County Records of the County in which his Will was probated, of applicable). Once you get copies of the Will, and you determine the mineral rights are spelled out - then you should contact a professional to translate the legalese for you.

Hope this helps! Best of Luck with everything!