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Oil/Gas/Mineral Ownership by tenants in common


Hello Chris, Here's the scenario...A brother (Bob) and sister (Sally) are each deeded surface ownership of different parcels of land, but the mineral rights are reserved. Then the mineral rights are given back to them as a whole on all the combined surface ownership properties, by tenants in common, each with 1/2 Und interest. Sally passes away and her husband (Jim) remarries (Joan). Here's the question. Does Joan have dower rights on the Mineral Rights? Does Sally's children have the mineral rights? If Both of Sally's children pass away and there is one granddaughter left and she sells the property without reserving the mineral rights, do they pass on to the new owner?

You have several different issues in here, of course...I am assuming that Sally passes away intestate and we are passing this interest by the default intestacy rules

1.  Each state is going to treat this issue differently.
2.  The specific conveyance from the past reserved mineral owner and how that conveyance is made will determine who is vested with interest.  
3.  Joan doesn't have dower rights to the minerals since you indicate that Sally has children.  Dower is like a life estate and Joan's children would need to have the remainder interest and they do not since you have indicated that Sally has children and a granddaughter.

If anyone conveys property and doesn't reserve minerals they pass to the new owner.

Step-children have no rights to property (in most states) unless they are vested the interest in a will

If Jim gets the property from the intestate distribution of Sally's personal and community estate and Sally and Jim have children together then Sally's/Jim's kids get the mineral and surface interest.

All of this depends on the state.  Each state has completely different rules and the info I've outlined is how this interest would be treated in Texas...some of these provisions would not apply in Colorado, for example.  Much of what you are asking also has to do with the exact words of grant in the referenced document.  


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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...

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Husband and father of 26 years

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