Hi everyone - I am a big fan of this site and have read many discussions and comments that were very helpful. Here is my dilema: My father passed away last year. Before he passed he signed a lease with Newfield Production CO. The spud date was 5-20-2011. The well came off the confidential list on 11-20-2011 and is on the DRL list. It is currently on the court hearing docket for Dec 15th for pooling of all units. Since I am a newbie and the landman hasn't been very helpful, how do I change the title to my mother's name? My dad did not leave a Will and he does have children of which half of the interests will go to my mom and the other half will be divided amongst his heirs (according to what was told to me). I am trying to find an inexpensive way to change the title without going through probate. I am not sure if this is feasible or not. The landman also stated that if the property is less than $200k then the whole mineral interest will go to my mother, if it is over $200k then it is split up as I had mentioned above. I am confused on how a mineral interest can have a dollar figure attached to it. The landman said that they have attorneys looking into this right now. I am not sure if this is his polite way of blowing us off or not.. lol -- I was also approached by another landman who is interested in top leasing our mineral interests. Are there any steps that I can take to expedite this process? If anyone could shed some light on this, I would greatly appreciate it! I also was told that I should be receiving a division order from the oil company within a few months of them drilling on the property. Question is, do I need to file a probate, can I file probate without hiring an attorney and when would I receive this division order?
I am not a lawyer but to the best of my knowledge the most sound way is via probate. It seems to me that protecting the interests of all those involved IS well worth the investment necessary to hire an attorney familiar with probate.
Thank you for responses, I really appreciate them! Thanks Joel for the statement claim form also. I have call in to an attorney in ND -- Have a wonderful Christmas Holiday!