Oil/Gas/Is affidavit valid for more than one property?
Expert: Frederick M. Scott - 11/17/2012
Question Can an affidavit of heirship filed against a specific Section of land be relied upon to determine title to severed mineral interests in ANOTHER Section of land in the same county in which the affidavit is filed of record, if it meets the other requirements of Oklahoma title examination standards? In other words, are affidavits of hiership good only for the lands cited on the affidavit, or for any lands owned by the decedent in the same county?
Answer As you likely know, an affidavit in itself will not transfer or verify ownership in minerals in Oklahoma, though oil companies will often lease based on just an affidavit if no probate has been done. Most buyers will not buy unless an estate has actually been probated however.
To answer your question, it would depend on what the affidavit stated as to whether it would be applicable to another section in the same county. If the affidavit said "all minerals owned by decedent" or something, and you see where the decedent owned in the section you're interested in, then I'd say the affidavit applied to both sections and the heir would have likely inherited that as well.
Without a court providing an Order or Final Decree stating that the heir inherited the section you're interested in I'd say there would still be a "cloud" on the title however. Without a court order, you're taking a chance since there may be other relatives other than the heir on the affidavit that would come out of the woodwork later. If you want to be "sure" it's best to have the decadent's estate probated (whether they died testate or intestate.)
Hope this helps you out.
Frederick M. "Mick" Scott CMM RPL
www.mineralhub.com The Mineral Hub
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Answer contradicted some of what I thought were the title examination standards for Oklahoma, but there seems to be a lack of standardization in the "standards".
Oil and gas leasing, lease negotiations, how to best deal with the oil and gas companies or their representatives, buying/selling mineral rights, forced-pooling, correlative rights, deeds and conveyances, and "post-production" costs. I am most experienced with Oklahoma properties and laws, but am able to answer questions concerning other oil and gas producing states in many cases.
I am a Certified Professional Mineral Manager (CMM) certified by the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO) in Tulsa, OK. I am also a Registered Professional Landman (RPL) with the American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL). I have managed my family's oil and gas properties in Oklahoma for over 10 years and have dealt with many landmen, title analysts, attorneys and other oil and gas professionals in the process. I have written several articles which have appeared in various oil and gas industry magazines and newsletters. I have negotiated and drafted leases, prepared deeds, affidavits, and other legal instruments relating to my own minerals, as well as performed title, legal research, and curative work for same. I have acquired a good deal of knowledge on the subjects of oil and gas law, mineral appraisal, and landwork over the past ten years, and also worked as a professional landman and lease buyer for a time. I've seen the business from "both sides" and therefore feel confident I can help out most of the folks who ask questions in this forum.
Organizations National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO); American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL)
Publications National Association of Royalty Owners "Action Report" (ROAR); NADOA Magazine, The Mineral Hub, Landman Magazine, and several royalty owner association group's newsletters.
Education/Credentials Certified Mineral Manager (CMM), Registered Professional Landman (RPL)