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Oil/Gas/heirship document


My father died without a will. (He was preceded in death by my mother.) I have been contacted & informed that I have a fractional interest in a potential oil lease.  Is it necessary for me to get an heirship document to prove my legal right to these mineral rights & any future income?

The only one who would benefit from proving that you have an interest in a mineral estate is you.  If you are the one to benefit then you are probably the best one to oversee that the process is completed in a legal and timely fashion.

But, your question is "necessary" and the answer to that is no.  It is not necessary.  If the oil company wants to make sure they have all the interest accounted for then they will assist you.  This is what I have seen from about half the oil companies out there...the other half will be happy to allow the money to sit in a trust account and then be sent to the state after seven years.

From that perspective, it would be advantageous to you to take the lead on this by obtaining the Affidavit of Heirship, getting it executed by two disinterested parties that are familiar with your family and your rightful ownership of the mineral estate...or perhaps just the fact that you are their heir generally.  Then, take the Affidavit to the County Courthouse where the property resides and have the document recorded.


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Cliff Williams


I will try to answer any question you have. Even if I reject a question, I still will give a shot at what I would do in your position. The only questions I will not take a shot at would be a highly technical engineering or geological question. I am beginning to see quite a few questions from land men and other oil companies and that doesn't matter to me either. I will attempt to help.


I am an oil and gas attorney that has been in the business for more than 20 years. I have held a series 22 and 63 securities license, been in oil and gas operations, land man, division order analyst all prior to obtaining my law degree. Today, I typically write title opinions verifying ownership of oil and gas minerals, assist landowners in negotiations on oil, gas and mineral leases, easements and conveyances. I also assist oil and gas companies with the sale of working interest ownership as well as common business law issues.

State Bar of Texas, Member of the Tarrant County Bar and the Dallas County Bar Associations.

Multiple oil and gas topical columns on

I have a B.S. degree which I rely upon more than my Business Mgmt degree or Law degree...

Awards and Honors
Husband and father of 26 years

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