Probate question

I recently inherited mineral rights in Texas. My attorney in TX is filing the will, order admitting will into probate and the letters testamentary in each county where there are mineral interests. The original probate is happening in another state. I am the executrix and sole beneficiary. Do I need new distribution deeds too? Or is filing certified copies of the foreign will in each county sufficient for chain of title?

The steps being taken by your TX attorney meet the requirements. Over the years I realized these steps fall short in the respect the process doesn’t specifically identify the holdings being probated and nor does it identify which John or Mary Doe or their address. Secondly, one of the John Does may have passed away and his heirs now share the inheritance. Who are they and where are they located?

At the near term local probate wind up TX distribution deeds were prepared and recorded. Copies are then mailed to each of the inheriting parties along with a copy of the date of death appraisal. The appraisal is the cost basis each will share based on the pro-ration of their inheritance.

I should have added copies of the recorded distribution deeds need to sent to the various oil companies and the date of death is the inheriting parties acquisition date.

If the original probate was in a state other than Texas, then authenticated copies of the documents you mentioned must be filed in each county in which mineral properties were located rather than certified copies. If the post did not include the probate application as a document to be recorded, then it should also be recorded. If the decision is made to do deeds of distribution make sure accurate and complete legal descriptions are used so problems are not created.

In my experience, filing of the probate documents is an unnecessary expense and not recognized by some oil companies. Instead, I always prepare a deed from the estate to the beneficiaries with a specific legal description of the property and file that in each county where there are mineral interests. Then the beneficiaries can send a copy of the file-marked deed and a W-9 to each oil company producing those mineral interests.

Include a statement that the deed includes all surface and minerals owned by decedent in the county, in case there is an error in a legal description or one property is left off the list. This prevents any later title question.

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Welcome. I am not very knowledgeable about mineral rights, thought I might mention something here. My husband’s mother had given her mineral rights on Texas property, to him and his brother. Royalties for some reason were sent to the Louisiana State unclaimed property division, presumably because this is where the home office of the oil company was located. They had been unable to locate him or my brother-in-law for distribution. No clue why, both families had not changed addresses in over 40 years. Companies had changed hands over time. This probably would not apply in your case, but in ours, we reaped a nice $30,000 surprise. I stumbled upon this when questioning asto why I was getting Division Orders to fill out from another oil company… It never hurts to check for unclaimed property in any state. Good luck!


Good point Cathie. When searching for possible abandon/unpaid royalties you should check the following: (1) Your State Treasurer, (2) If you inherit their State of residence, (3) The State of oil company office location, (4) The company State of incorporation which may include Delaware.

About twenty-twenty-five years ago the State of Kansas sued Koch Oil for not turning over suspended royalties and as a result Koch turned over everything without regard to the royalty owners State address.

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In Oklahoma a properly drafted probate order is the equivalent to a deed. If a company ignores, then they pay interest.