Recording Change of Ownership without Probate?

Both my parents passed away a few years ago and we didn’t probate anything because they didn’t have any assets - just living on Social Security. I have since learned that my father owned some mineral rights in Tyler County and had signed a lease with Antero. I have been told that an Affidavit of Heirship is insufficient to record the change of ownership with the Tyler County Clerk’s office. Is there any other alternative other than going through the probate process?

You do not have to prove change of ownership to the Tyler County Clerk. You only have to prove it to the satisfaction of Antero. To do that, record with the Tyler County Clerk an original of his death certificate and an original of his wife’s death certificate, and an Affidavit of Heirship. Then tell Antero the Book and Page Numbers of those recordings. The Tyler County Assessor’s Office will continue to tax the property to the same individual, presumably your father, but you simply inform them to send it your address and then pay it. If Royalties are ever paid due to the lease, Antero will tell the Tyler County Assessor how much they have paid you and the Assessor will tax you a small amount based on the royalty (this is a Production tax). They will not change the tax that is already being paid (a Reserve tax) nor change the name of the person, presumably your father, for that tax. Your father’s name can be on that tax for generations so long as someone pays it.

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Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork. I had to produce death certificate for my mom, but her case ended up in probate. Was not with Antero at the time but another company (StatOil.) Great folks to work with at the time. Al ot of time has passed but pretty sure everything is now in our names as heirs, and TONS of people sharing interest/ownership… Our tracks are divided up and I just signed a 5-yr. lease with Antero. Don’t be quick to accept their first offer. They should be walking you through that entire process and what they require. There are legal people on here who give great advice as well. Have also had offers to buy, but most are insulting, as they KNOW what you’re land/tracks are worth. Not trying to be hateful with my comments.The market has a lot of bearing with offers too, plus rules,laws,regulations with their perspective companies.

Did Antero tell you that it was insufficient? Has a well already been drilled - this helps determine if the lease is still in effect or expired. If you are unsure, if you provide the legal description then I may be able to help you look it up.

Additional questions to consider: Was it a small interest or a large interest? How many potential heirs are there and what does their will say? There are a lot of determining factors to weigh when thinking about options of hiring an attorney , going through probate or trying to get it cleared up in a more informal manner (affidavit of heirship, working with Antero to see what they will be willing to accept given the circumstances of the account, etc.). Sometimes it is possible to get around probate but other times it is not.

Side note: I would also look to see if there have been any unclaimed funds sent to the state under your parents name just in case.

Best of luck!

On this same topic… royalties currently going into Family Trust. How do I go about separating from the Trust to have my share of royalties coming directly to me

Depends on how the Trust is written.