My parents both passed away five months apart 22 years ago in 1997. Many of the royalty interest, oil and mineral in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma were sold to the oil and gas clearinghouse in Texas the following year. In the last 12 months I have found three or four companies that apparently had small interest Remaining in my mothers name/estates name. Those fell through the cracks and the company stated that they will distribute division orders once wills are recorded in the counties . One company says that won’t be sufficient , that they will need me to record a conveyance Order transferring it from my moms name to each heir . However never completed probate in the stare of New Mexico where the interest exists all that was fine was the recording of the will and order admitting the will to probate as my parents passed in wa state . That was good enough to sell interests but not good enough to receive suspense funds the co has . I’ve contacted three different attorneys but am getting diff answers from each
I can only speak for Oklahoma. In Oklahoma, to have marketable (good) title, you will need to have a probate done in Oklahoma. Many times companies will allow you to file an affidavit of heirship so as to get paid, but they don’t have to do that. some companies won’t accept it.
Further, you may still need the probate down the line if a new well ever gets drilled. In other words, if you go the affidavit of heirship route, you are fixing the problem, now, but in some sense you are kicking the problem down to your kids and your heirs. I don’t know NM law, but I’ve been told the answer is similar to Oklahoma.
In Oklahoma your parents’ estates can be combined into one. Also they would probably qualify for a summary probate procedure.
In New Mexico, you will either need to do ancillary probate in a New Mexico court of jurisdiction or, if the probate was completed in another state, you can likely authenticate the foreign probate through a simpler process. Either will probably require an actual distribution of the mineral interest in the county records by a personal representative’s deed. If the probate was completed in Washington, the process should be relatively straight-forward and economic.