My grandmother had mineral rights in Grady Co, OK. She is deceased and my mother is her sole heir. No will was probated in court. Two tracts of land have been leased and lease dollars paid to my mom. One tract has had a producing well (Treadaway, well ID 1-34H) since 2011. We have not had any additional lease payments nor royalty payments on this production. The other tract was a 3 year lease due again in 2018. What should be our next step to get the titling process completed and royalties due my mom?
1. Unless the oil company/operator of the well allows for an affidavit of death and heirship, you will need to have your grandmother's estate probated in Oklahoma, so as to pass clear title to your mother.
2. If this happens and there are no wrinkles, and there are producing wells on one or both tracts, then you will need to send the final order in the probate to the operator and that should suffice.
This is no time to be bashful. A lease only reserves the right for the lessee to produce the minerals against a promise to pay a share well revenue. It is up to the owner to prove her true rights to a share of well revenue. With those wells it will be worth the expense of doing the legal proof right the first time. Keep in mind that there will me more wells for your mother to share in so only go through this once and you will be all the better off for doing so.
Tim Dowd has the right idea. Iron out the wrinkles now. See if you can find a KS lawyer who also works in or has close ties to Oklahoma procedures.
Many envy your position.
Gary L Hutchinson
Thank you, Tim and Gary! This has been quite challenging especially since my grandmother has been gone almost 20 years. I'll check with our local attorneys to see if they are up on Oklahoma law. Of course, I am also open to a recommendation that either of you would have. We are not opposed to reaching out to someone in Oklahoma.