I have a somewhat similar situation with mineral rights associated with homesteads of my father and great-grandfather in McHenry County, North Dakota. When my grandfather sold the land in 1947, he retained 50% of the mineral rights. My mother passed last year. Her trust attorney is wanting to transfer the mineral interests to beneficiaries however so far there is no proof of ownership. I do have evidence of leases, but the most recent record is from 1992. Since only 50% is owned by my family, unrelated persons may also appear as owners. I’m also curious to see if this property has been recently productive. McHenry Co, North Dakota **Lot 1, Township 156 N., Range 79W. (of 5th P.M) Section 4, S1/2NE1/4, SE1/4NW1/4, E1/2SW1/4, SE1/4 Section 9 N1/2NE1/4
I plan to contact the county clerk’s office to determine what ownership is on file. I’m finding that mineral rights is a complex subject and may not be adequately considered when crafting a will or trust. As you mentioned, an ancillary probate process may become necessary. Good luck!