Mineral Rights Lawyers
At Bennett, Weston, LaJone & Turner, P.C., our Texas mineral rights attorneys are skilled, solutions-focused advocates for our clients. We combine large firm performance with small firm attention. Our mineral rights practice is led by Glenn A. Portman, a Texas attorney with extensive experience handling complex oil and gas cases and mineral rights cases assisted by Blair Bennett, a real estate attorney. To schedule a strictly confidential, initial consultation with a top Texas mineral rights lawyer, please call our Dallas law office today.
We Handle the Full Range of Mineral Rights Cases in Texas
The United States is one of only a few countries that allows landowners to control the minerals under the surface of their property. As Texas is a state of vast resources, mineral rights are a critically important issue. These matters are nuanced and complex and a wide body of case law has been developed governing mineral rights and related transactions. We are a full-service law firm representing individuals and businesses across the full spectrum of mineral rights cases. A non exhaustive list of mineral rights cases we handle in Texas include:
- Title Research: Determining the ownership of mineral rights is an essential step. In some cases, you may have questions about the rights associated with a parcel of land. Whether you are considering purchasing property or you inherited property, we can help. Our Texas mineral rights lawyers can conduct or obtain from a title company a comprehensive title search to obtain all of the documents and information you need to clarify, confirm, and prove ownership.
- Transfer of Mineral Rights: Property owners can transfer mineral rights to other parties. In Texas, mineral rights can be attached to the surface property or they can be severed and treated as two separate estates. If you have questions about transferring mineral rights, our Texas lawyers can help.
- Development of Mineral Interests: Most property owners need to lease mineral rights to an oil and gas company or other natural resources company in order to benefit from the potential wealth underneath the surface. There are several different types of mineral interests, including royalty interests, working interests, and net revenue interests. We help clients understand their options and come to an arrangement that most effectively furthers their interests.
- Mineral Rights Disputes and Litigation: If you are involved in a mineral rights dispute, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Our Texas mineral rights attorneys have the skills, knowledge, and tenacity to represent clients in legal disputes, including in litigation.
Mineral Rights: Transactions and Contracts
A mineral lease is an enforceable legal contract that establishes terms between a mineral owner (the property owner) and the company seeking to extract the resource. There are many common mistakes to avoid when negotiating a mineral lease and other similar contracts. At Bennett, Weston, LaJone & Turner, P.C., our North Texas mineral rights attorney has experience representing property owners and business in a wide range of transactions. We review, negotiate, and draft mineral contracts.
Preparing for a Consultation With a Mineral Rights Lawyer: What Information do I Need?
In establishing, utilizing, and transferring mineral rights, a major issue people run into is that they lack access to the important documents and records. One of the best steps you can take to protect your interests is to gather and organize all documents and records related to a property’s surface rights and/or its mineral rights. Among other things, the information that you should gather may include any or all of the following:
- A copy of the deed that describes or details mineral rights or interests;
- Conveyance documents, such as mineral Deeds, personal representatives’ deeds, warranty deeds, and quit claim deeds;
- Overriding royalty interest (ORRI) assignments;
- Any other relevant estate documents;
- Any mineral lease/property rights contracts that have been signed;
- Any oil and gas lease that has been signed or proposed; and
- Check stubs, revenue statements, and other tax documents;
If you are looking to track down real estate records, you will generally need to start by obtaining the land records from the County Clerk in the county in which the property is located. In some Texas counties, you can search for a deed online. In other countries, you may need to request records in person or by mail. As a comprehensive search of land records can be both costly and time-consuming, it is a best practice to start by reviewing and analyzing the documents you already have.
Ultimately, the more information you have, the better. During an initial consultation, our Texas mineral rights lawyer can review your documents, explain any gaps in your records, answer your questions, and help you best understand how to move forward.
Frequently Asked Questions: Mineral Rights in Texas
What Happens to Mineral Rights When You Die?
Mineral interests are transferable in much the same way as other property rights. If the owner of a mineral rights dies, that interest may be transferred to an heir in probate proceedings. If you are such an heir, you should contact the personal representative of the decedent’s estate appointed by the probate court. If you are a personal representative of the estate, your probate attorney can help you insure that the mineral interest is properly transferred to the appropriate heir.
How do You Transfer Mineral Rights in Texas?
In Texas, you can transfer mineral rights through a sale, gift, or an inheritance. To do so, it is imperative that you carefully organize and prepare all relevant legal documents. It is much easier to transfer a mineral interest if you already have a copy of the deed that describes the interest to be transferred.
A deed should name the seller/donor and the purchaser/donee. Additionally, it should clearly state and describe the rights being sold or given. To prepare this deed of conveyance a legal description exactly describing the property being conveyed is mandatory to properly identify the land interest conveyed. Obtaining such legal description can be costly and time consuming so obtaining the proper information from the owners’ files is exceedingly important.
Under Texas law, a spouse usually is not required to sign the conveyance document. However, spousal signature will be required if the rights are held in both names or the mineral rights are located on the property on which they both reside as homestead.
Do Mineral Rights Transfer With Property in Texas?
Yes—at least in most circumstances. As a general matter, mineral rights will transfer with any property being sold in Texas unless there has been a prior severance of the surface and mineral estates by deed, inheritance, oil and gas lease, or a judgment. In other words, mineral rights do transfer with property unless the rights are no longer attached to the surface property or are explicitly excluded from the transaction.
How do I Know if I Own the Mineral Rights to My Property?
As noted above, it is assumed that we are purchasing both the surface and mineral estates associated with a property unless severance of these property interests has already occurred. Generally, you can find out about the mineral rights associated with a property by conducting a comprehensive examination of a title commitment before you finalize a purchase of property.
If you think you have inherited a mineral interest from a deceased relative, but do not know where to look, cannot obtain information from the personal representative of the deceased relative’s estate, and only have a vague idea about where such interest is located, you may have to hire a title company to search real estate records for your deceased relative’s name.
Unfortunately, in some cases, this can be a complicated process. There are 256 counties in Texas, and it can be costly and cumbersome to conduct a search of all possible real estate records. One of the best steps you can take to protect your interests is to gather as much information as possible from other family members or from your deceased relative’s personal records to narrow such a search.
Do Oil and Gas Attorneys Handle Mineral Rights?
Yes. Oil and gas attorneys are essentially real estate attorneys who specialize in oil and gas issues and development of minerals and oil and gas interests. In Texas, many mineral rights cases are focused on oil and gas development and sales. At Bennett, Weston, LaJone & Turner, P.C., our Texas oil and gas lawyers have extensive experience handling a wide range of mineral rights and mineral interests issues. We are more than ready to help.
Call Our Texas Mineral Rights Attorneys for Immediate Assistance
At Bennett, Weston, LaJone & Turner, P.C., our Texas mineral rights lawyer has the knowledge and experience to protect your rights. We are prepared to assist you with your legal issues. To schedule a completely confidential initial consultation, please contact us today by calling (214) 691-1776. With an office in Dallas, we represent clients throughout Texas, including in Fort Worth, Midland, Houston, and all communities in between.