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:

https://www.co.jefferson.tx.us/ProbateCourt/Documents/20150527_Texas_Descent_and_Distribution.pdf

Best,

Buddy Cotten