Hello! My ancestor passed in 1988 and held mineral rights in Texas and died testate in NC, what do I do? Our family found this on NC unclaimed property and he is currently also listed as a mineral holder online with the oil company currently.
Also, my great aunts and uncles have mineral rights who passed and their estates settled. They also are listed, but no current family is aware, and a few don’t have descendants.
How is this transferred, if allowed? How do we find out what the mineral is and where?
Hi ElizabethB, some parts of this you can do yourself and some parts will require the help of an attorney. The county clerk property records for the Texas county should have some record of your ancestors mineral deeds and leases. Many of them are searchable online or through Texas file, although how far the records go back varies. If the property is still producing, the property tax rolls might also provide some clues. You will also need a copy of your ancestors will and will need to check that they did not bequeath the mineral rights to some other relative or a charity. A Texas oil and gas attorney can help you with the transfer of any mineral rights you might be in line for.
Keep asking question here and good luck!
You may be able to have an attorney assist you with preparation and filing of an affidavit of heirship that covers all these ancestors. Then an attorney can research where they have mineral interests and what oil company is producing those minerals. Then each such oil company will be sent a copy of the file-marked affidavit and W-9s for each heir under Texas law and ask the company to transfer ownership and pay royalties to those heirs. This may not be the only method but it is often the easiest and most cost effective. Alternatively, if the estates of the great aunts and uncles were probated, you can have the executor of those estates prepare and file mineral deeds to the beneficiaries in their wills. You are going to need an attorney look at the details and help you select the best method.