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RayAnswers, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 36351
Experience:  Texas lawyer for 30 years in Estate law
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About 5 years ago, I purchased a percentage of a large estate

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About 5 years ago, I purchased a percentage of a large estate from its heirs for a fairly large sum of money. The estate has a considerable amount of oil and gas royalties which have been disbursed, and I have received the appropriate amount of them [deeded to me]. There is also a considerable amount of land in the estate that is not yet sold, of which I also own a percentage.

The contract I purchased the percentage with was notarized and recorded. I would now like to sell my percentage.

My question: If I do a contract for sale of the assets conveyed in the original contract, would that contract be valid and enforceable if it was not notarized and filed [simply signed by me]? I currently live in a foreign country and it is very hard to get a notary from here accepted in the United States. I have a buyer who will purchase my percentage on an bill of sale that is not notarized. Would he be able to enforce such a contract with the estate if I did not challenge it?

Hi and welcome to JA. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be assisting you tonight.You would do a sales contract and a deed here.Any percentage of land that you purchased should have been transferred to you by deed from the estate.


You would want the estate to transfer the real property interest to you here by deed similar to the minerals if this has not been done.


Once you have legal title then if you are wanting the person to be able to enforce it the easiest method would be to deed it to them.But a person buying the interest with a bill of sale without a deed from the estate would have to sue here to enforce it if the estate does not honor it here.


The only legal means to transfer title to either real estate or minerals or both is a by warranty deed here in Texas along with bill of sale and closing documents.So again the first step would be to have the estate deed the property to you and then you would deed it to the other person buying it from you.

You can get a deed here notarized out of the country.Here are the requirements to do so.


Foreign Acknowledgment


A foreign acknowledgment is an acknowledgment taken outside Texas.

This type of acknowledgment is valid as long as it conforms to the laws of the state or county where the acknowledgment is taken, and its acceptance is authorized by the laws of the state where the land lies.

An acknowledgment may be taken outside of Texas but within the United States or its territories, by:

  • a clerk of a court of record having a seal;
  • a commissioner of deeds appointed under the laws of that state; or
  • a notary public.

If the acknowledgment does not have a notary seal, and the state in which the acknowledgment was taken does not require a seal, then the necessity for a seal is waived. Your county clerk will have a list of states that do not require notary seals.

An acknowledgment may be taken outside the United States or its territories by:

  • a minister, commissioner, or charge d'affaires of the United States who is a resident of and is accredited in the country where the acknowledgment or proof is taken;
  • a consul-general, consul, vice-consul, commercial agent, vice-commercial agent, deputy consul, or consular agent of the United States who is a resident of the country where the acknowledgment or proof is taken; or
  • a notary public.

You may assume that an acknowledgment signed by a U.S. governmental official is appropriately appointed and accredited.

An acknowledgment of a member of the armed forces, a member of the armed forces auxiliary or a member's spouse may be taken by a commissioned officer of the United States Armed Forces or United States Armed Forces Auxiliary.

In some transactions, a party to the transaction is in another country and needs to get a document notarized. If a U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate notary is unavailable, the party may obtain a foreign acknowledgement by using an Apostille Form (below). We will accept this form executed by a foreign notary from any country that is a member of the Hague Convention. Most major countries are signatories to the Hague Convention. If you have doubts, call a Texas Underwriter or check the Hague Convention Website under conventions (



Overall you should have gotten deed from the estate and should then be able to do a bill of sale and deed to the person buying the property or minerals here.You may have to to locate the US consulate here to have it notarized as the law requries above.


If the estate doesn't honor the bill of sale and you are unable to complete a deed then the person woudl have to file sut against the estate to try and enforce the matter.


This is a unique situation given your situation out of country a Texas lawyer where the estate is pending would be a great way yo try and resolve this matter for you.The lawyer could prepare the necessary paper work and work with you to get it notarized if necessary.


The state bar can help you with a local lawyer to draft the bill of sale and related documents.



You may also want to use a title company as they have lawyers on duty in the county where the property is located.As a former title company lawyer I have closed transactions like this with overseas sellers and buyers.It takes some more effort but it can be done.





I appreciate the chance to assist you tonight.Please let me know if you have more follow up.Thanks again.




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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The estate is not deeding the land, it is selling it and disbursing the proceeds. What I own is a percentage of three of the four beneficiaries share. They wanted to keep the minerals, so they were deeded to us. But the land is to be sold, not divided. So I don't think I own any land, only the proceeds that come from its sale. So how do I sell that?

The best way to do this would be a bill of sale where he estate also signs here if you want to avoid a deed.I would want the estate to agree to such a sale.I honestly think you need local Texas lawyer to prepare this and get the estate to sign off on it to avoid any problems.The lawyer would be drafting off any purchase agreement you have with the estate and /or heirs.

The reason I recommended you seek a deed for your shares, you would be the owner of an undivided interest is because the person you are selling it too could file a suit for partition to force a court ordered sale.

If you aren't going to take title to the property I think you need the estate personal representative to agree to your sale of your interest.That way there is no problems for the buyer. A local lawyer can prepare this and get it signed by you and the PR of the estate.

This is certainly a unique situation and a local lawyer can craft a sales document where the estate agrees to the transfer of your shares.This would avoid any problems down the road.

Thanks again here and I wish you the best.

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