Notices of Claim in Montana

I have a small unleased interest in McCone County. A few years ago, I recorded a notice of claim of mineral interests using the same form I used in North Dakota. My concern was that someone could try to grab it as an abandoned interest. I was also concerned potential lessees could not find me.

Is this the standard practice in Montana?

I made a similar point in another post with another topic, but it is buried in the thread and might get overlooked.

Contact the county clerk and ask what the statute is in Montana. Better safe than sorry. Also, put a big note in the file in the front for your heirs so that they know how to do it and when.

I wasn`t aware MT had passed a dormant mineral act but the recording will not hurt anything. As a matter of fact you may have updated your contact information.

Thanks. I will call on Monday.

My understanding is that this is only necessary to do with properties NOT leased or under production. I ran around several years ago and recorded notices of claims in several counties, largely because I have a common name and I live far away. With notary fees, postage and recorders fees, I spend about $300. Ugh.

There are a lot of sharks out there, so it pays to be safe.

I have also found stuff in the unclaimed property office in North Dakota, so it pays to check there too.

I understand your logic based upon the ND dormant mineral enactment that became effective 7/01/1985. The act basically states a statement of claim needs to recorded in every county of ownership every twenty years. This statement needs to include your name, address and the property descriptions you intend to retain. I`ve probably taken the extreme approach by including all ownership without regard to leased, producing to ensure all are placed of record at the same time. The only possible down side is it may cost another page recording fee. Activity such as a new deed, lease will reset the twenty year clock.

Many but not all states have somewhat similar enactments that will vary by effective dates and different points to record the statement of claim. All of these enactments were created due to unlocatable mineral owners.

Don’t think Montana has a dormant minerals act, but always good to notify the county clerks of any change in address or heirship. Helps the landmen find you.

I think you are correct that Montana has no such statute, but will defer to Montana attorneys and land men on that point. When I googled the question, I pulled up at least one draft statute, but it appears that was not enacted.

I recorded a claim years ago anyway as I did not want to give anyone an excuse for not being able to find me.

Anything that makes a landman’s job easier is appreciated. Having records of the filings makes your heir’s jobs easier as well. Upon advice of our attorney, we filed for every tract in ND just to make sure that nothing fell through the cracks. Even though some tracts had production or were currently being leased at the time, we filed them all so we had a complete record. Even after having the same Post Office box for 50 years, we still get excuses that “we couldn’t find you”. Not…

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We couldnt find you is used very often simply because they didnt make any attempt to search. One can Google just about anyone`s name and find something, even an obituary.

Whenever I worked with a long term owner or trust, we recorded an Notice of Current Owner and Mailing address. This document identified all known descriptions plus commentary stating the intent included anything not previously described. If the holdings happened to reside in a State with a dormant mineral statute I included the specific Code section and a second comment of intent to retain all existing ownership.

In the case of long term trusts, especially if they reside in a bank trust department, the Trustee may have merged multiple times. For example a trust may have originated in CO and now the holdings are managed in TX.

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