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Question
My mother-in-law would like to transfer her 20 acres of mineral rights (only mineral rights) to myself and my wife prior to her death.  The rights are in her name and her husbands in Hughes County, OK and her husband passed away about 4 years ago.  After research I believe that we can do the transfer of the title by quitclaim, but with her husband still on the deed it might be rather complicated.  I have read conflicting opinions on whether we can do the quitclaim ourselves and file it with the County Clerk or we need to get a lawyer to do the quitclaim.  What is your advice for the best way for us to proceed?

Answer
Sometimes non-lawyers make mistakes that lawyers would not make.  You are correct that your mother-in-law could quit claim her interest to you.  As you probably suspect, that does not address her late husband's interest, if any.  You do not say how the property was held by your father-in-law, so I cannot answer that question, either.  If it was held in joint tenancy, then your mother-in-law could file a statutory affidavit to terminate the joint tenancy and then quit claim the property.  If it was held as tenants in common--then you are correct that it becomes more complicated.

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Mark Bonner

Expertise

Interests include oil and gas leases, mineral deeds, royalty payments, interest on late royalty payments, post-production costs.

Experience

I have been an attorney for over 20 years.

Organizations
Norman & Edem, PLLC 127 N.W. 10th St. Oklahoma City, OK 73103 405-272-0200 (Tel.)

Publications
Oklahoma Bar Journal; Oklahoma Association for Justice Advocate

Education/Credentials
Highest Honors, OU College of Law, 1992 Earl Sneed Award for Oil & Gas

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