Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
Hi and welcome to Just Answer.I am Ray and am the expert that will be assisting you today.Here in Texas there is no reversionary statute.These minerals would belong to the legal heirs of the will and estate you reference.Since they were not included in the deed here they remain with the legal heirs.The legal heirs if they want a deeded interest would have to reopen the estate amend the inventory and executor should deed them the minerals.Oil companies usually do title reports for the minerals here since there are no title policies for minerals.A title search would indicate who the heirs were under the will and they would lease with them.Also the mineral taxes here should be paid by the heirs.If they fail to pay taxes it is possible for the county to take back the mineral interest for unpaid taxes.Here is a good legal reference.If you skip to page 10 or so you can see Texas law.It is totally different than some states that have reversion statutes such as Louisiana.
The lawyer for the estate here if there was one totally dropped the ball and should have deeded the minerals to the legal heirs to make this a clear and complete chain of title.It is correctable assuming they have paid the taxes and the court or other governmental entity hasn't taken it for back taxes.
If this is producing property it certainly gets rated and there would be taxes due.You might want to see if they have been paid and what the land reflects as legal owner.It probably is under estate of...I appreciate the chance to assist you today.Please let me know if you have more follow up.Thanks again.
Thank you. Additional info...the mineral interests are non producing, the heirs are dead and the chain of title stops at the reservation in the deed of trust....no mineral deed was filed at the time of the sale, or any of the years intervening...would these interests be considered abandoned...is there any way to rejoin these to the surface estate
Again, thank you.
You cannot abandon them in Texas.Texas is totally different than other states.The last person who had title--here the deceased person it is their heirs who hold title.Until they convey title by quitclaim or go back and reopen it they still own them, there is no abandonment in Texas.Now if they don't pay the taxes the county could take it.However if it is non producing and not leased likely there is no tax value that makes it worth it to county to pursue it.You could buy them by quit claim or through probate if you were interested in them.Again you would be dealing with the legal heirs of the deceased or if this round has deceased their heirs--this is why Oil men spend a a great deal of time searching the deed records to locate the legal heirs and it isn't always cleared up like this situation.
Unless the tax authority takes them for taxes they remain with legal heirs as there is reversion or law that takes them back like other states,Here is a second reference see question 4 here there is no reversion principle or statute in Texas although there were Bills intorduced in the last coupld of sessions that did not pass as it is possible this may change in the futurre.http://www.haynesvilleshalelandowners.org/hsla/view/faqsAnd I am a Texas lawyer and mineral owner in this field at the site above.Thanks for letting me help you today.Please let me know if you have more follow up.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).