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I had an attorney file proof of heirship for a small percentage of mineral rights. Can I still get royalties for gas or oil?

Oklahoma City, OK |

my father left a will and family trust in the state of California but the mineral rights were not mentioned by name.

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Attorney answers 1


While it's probably not the answer you're looking for, it depends. First off, the property must be producing gas and oil in order to entitle you to royalties (there may be other, more technical options such as shut-in wells, or minimum royalties etc. if your mineral rights have been leased).

Next, in many states the affidavit of heirship only creates a "rebuttable presumption" that the facts in the affidavit are true, but it doesn't carry the weight of a judicial determination after a probate proceeding in a court. While most exploration companies would likely be comfortable taking a lease on the basis of an affidavit, many, if not most, would likely ask you to get a judicial determination of ownership or heiship prior to drilling a well paying out any royalties.

I am not licensed in Oklahoma, so these are just "general" principles. I would advise you to seek out an experienced oil and gas attorney licensed in Oklahoma, especially if there is production on the property in question.

Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Actual legal advice can only be provided after completing a comprehensive consultation in which all of the relevant facts are discussed and reviewed.

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