Stipulation of Interest template

I'm looking for a good template Stipulation of Interest agreement to use to transfer mineral and surface ownership of deceased intestate from his children back to his widow for her lifetime.

Can anyone help?

Thanks so much,

Pamela Graham

Hi Pamela,

I'm not an Attorney and you should probably let one prepare the papers for you, but I think what you are looking for is either a Deed or a Quit Claim Deed, not a Stipulation of Interest.

I am curious about one thing: By your saying "for her lifetime", is that to indicate that the Widow is not the Mother of the Children? If so, then you would be wise in wording the conveyance or quit claim to be "for her lifetime" because otherwise the interest(s) would likely go to her children or other heirs, not back to his children.

Hope this helps -

Charles Emery Tooke III

Certified Professional Landman

Fort Worth, Texas

I agree with you, Charles, about an attorney, but I think the problem is that the intestacy split the interests 50% to spouse and 50% to children (adult or not). I still think your language would be appropriate, even if the children were the issue of the intestate and the widow, in case of a remarriage or other unintended consequence.

We are really not sure how the laws of descent and distribution would work in her case.

We can infer the lands as being located in Texas, but not much else.

Are the lands separate or community? We do not know.

Are there children or other descendents outside of the existing marriage? We do not know.

Did the death occur after September 1, 1993? We do not know.

Notwithstanding the above, a Stipulation of Interest is not valid without words of cross conveyance. Therefore, it would likely work, but not be the cleanest (IMHO) way to go. A straight transfer to the mother for life (Life Tenant), then to the holders of the Remainderman Interest.

The downside to doing a transfer in that manner is suppose the property is community in nature and the wife did inherit the husband's community 1/2. Now, by a conveyance from the children to the mother for life, it does not address the community 1/2 that was owned by the surviving spouse in her own right. As to the surviving spouse's community 1/2, she could do what she wanted,i.e. convey it to her church, etc. If the wife inherited by descent and distribution the community 1/2 of her husband, the children have no interest to convey. If that is the case, the deed would be to the children, with the widow reserving a Life Estate. That is not the greatest solution, since the widow would not be entitled to the full royalty share in the event of production. She would be entitled to her community 1/2 of production, but only the fructus of the deceased spouse's 1/2.

There are too many missing fact scenarios to make an informed recommendation, not the least of which is the intention of the parties prior to entering into any agreement. Time for an attorney to weigh in on this one.

Here is a decent little chart on the laws of death and distribution in the State of Texas:


Buddy Cotten

A little late, I find this thread. I appreciate the information I am finding. I too have an issue with an ambiguous stipulation of interest. My mother inharreted roughly 73 acres in Reeves county, of undivided land. A section of land split 50/50 with her brother. In the early '60, all documents she signed regarding the property, including a sale to the state of Texas to build Hwy 10, had my father sign as co owner. Until the last two documents she signed. Both drawn up by an " attorney" who bought. 1/2 surface rites and 1/4 mineral rights, from her brother.

The first document that only contains my mother’s signature, has my father’s signature request marked off in black. It has no initials next to it, or any indication why it was removed. My mother signed under a spot that says, " wife of" name once again blacked out.

The next document is a stipulation of interest, poorly written and ambiguous, stating, my mother’s name, as a married woman regarding her own property… No back up documentation supporting a change from community property to sole ownership ever filed with the state. In her will, my mother left everything to my father, Who just lived a few months longer than her. The stipulation states all parties agree to particular percentages of ownership. No explanation of transference of percentages or agreements or deeds of sale.

My biggest problem is, the title companies today simply look at that stipulation of interest, the last document she signed, and base dealing with the undivided property owners accordingly. No one but me apparently has actually read the contracts. They just downloaded it from Texas Files, and that’s ok. How can I get this situation rectified? I am particularly concerned because my sister should be considered 1/24 owner and is not included on contracts. Is there any way I can correct this without spending $5000 on lawyers fees?


If you don’t think it is worth getting a lawyer for $5000, then the property must not have much value. Do yourself a favor, hire a lawyer and get the mess cleaned up properly, once & for all.

Oil production hasn’t started yet. Due to recent down turn in prices. I don’t have $5000 just sitting around to spend . I am sure, I am not the only person ever in this situation.

You will have to consult an attorney who can review the title. Generally, if you mother inherited minerals and surface, then it was her separate property. If she purchased the minerals, then it could be separate or community depending on the source of the funds. If the minerals and surface were her separate property, then your father was not required to sign leases or assignments or other documents.

Some companies request the spouse’s signature to cover all bases. A stipulation of interest defines the ownership among the listed parties who sign the document. It is usually done because there is confusion and the parties want to clarify ownership. It will override other prior deeds for the signing parties.

If your mother had clear separate title, then the stipulation may not have to state that it is her separate property. The stipulation of interest does not need to cite the deed and ownership history. It may only state that X,Y and Z agree that the surface and minerals are owned as follows - X owns 50% and Y owns 35% and Z owns 15%.

It sounds like your mother signed a stipulation of interest without consulting her own attorney to understand the legal consequences. However, you need to have a title attorney read the language within all the document(s) in full to see exactly what and how the surface and minerals are owned by you and your sister.

This is not a do-it-yourself project as the interpretation of deeds is based on the court cases.


Thank you for your help. Yes, I am afraid my mother did not realize what she was signing. It was all handled in a vary doubious way. The state was sold around 22 acres for the Hwy, taken out of the undivided property. %50 owner convinced my mother her percentage only was affected. My mother did not understand what undivided property ment, differences in percentages and acres owned. Than in the stipulation of interest, the 50% owner claimed mother was a 1/3 % owner and he and his partner assumed that exact percentage he told her the state took for the Hwy. He mixed Acers and percentages of ownership and confused her. This involves only the surface fortunately. All owners are currently negotiating contracts for various surface activities, non of which amount to more than a little compensation. I would like to get this legally cleared up, but I am not sure what my chances are to win, and how much it will end up costing.