Usufructuary in Louisiana

I recently received Judgement of Possession of my father's estate. My stepmother has usufruct for life. At the time he died LA still had forced heirship. She signed mineral leases without filing the Succession. The naked owner's (my siblings & I) were asked to sign a ratification. What if we do, or what if we don't?


If you ratify the lease, upon expiration of your stepmother’s usufruct, the mineral rights you own will be covered by the lease.

If you choose not to ratify the lease, upon expiration of the usufruct, the lease covering the mineral rights will expire and you will become an unleased mineral owner in the well.

But, from my understanding, she had no right to sign the mineral lease in the first place, without the naked owners. My dad died in 1995, the lease was dated Feb. 12 2008. The will was evidently not valid, the JOP is dated Jan. 25, 2010, recognizing the 5 children as owners and be sent into possession of an undivide 1/5th interest each of 1/2 of decedent’s estate, which consists of an undivided 1/2 interest in the community of acquets and gains, being an undivided 1/10th in his property, subject to the usufruct,for the remainder of her life.

The Judge order that all banks, trust companies, insurance companies and all other persons, etc, having on deposit, or in their possession, or control, any money credit stocks, dividends, rent or other belonging to the decedent, are hereby required to deliver to the heirs in full ownership.

We have not seen anything yet.

It is my understanding…

The usufructary has the right to grant Oil, Gas & Mineral Leases and retain the bonus payment paid for said lease. The naked owner does not have to be a party to any lease.

The usufructary also has a right to receive royalty payments in connection with the mineral lease.

A JOP doesn’t have to be rendered for your stepmother to have the contractual capacity to enter into a valid OGML.

I am not an attorney or a substitute for an attorney, if you believe you have been wronged, hire a competent Oil & Gas attorney.


I just retained a new attorney, I heard he was very good. He’s reviewing everything, and awaiting my stepmother’s new attorney to respond to a letter to ammend property descriptions in the Judgement. And a question to why we were asked to sign an Act of Donation in the first place. The attorney that handled the succession for my stepmother is no longer representing her. But, as myself and my sister are both disabled, I’m trying to find out as much as possible without using our attorney. Thanks for all your help.

You are doing the right things by gathering as much information as possible.

I looked over the JOP today, but didn’t have access to the full succession file. The property is located in a good spot for Oil & Gas exploration. It appears your father died intestate (without a will), so I agree with your statement that the “will was evidently not valid”.

Good Luck!

–Chase, Independent Petroleum Landman

Thank You!