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Texas is Rich in Mineral Rights

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Texas's rich soil contains precious resources that can lead to profit or heartache for landowners, depending on who owns the mineral rights. Mineral rights are, quite simply, the legal ownership of mineral deposits beneath the surface of a property. In a completely efficient world, the one who owns the surface of the land would own the resources beneath. 

Doesn’t the surface owner always own the mineral rights under their property? In reality, mineral rights can also be owned by previous surface owners, corporations, or third parties. Mineral-rich states that have an abundance of oil, gas, coal, gold, silver and other precious minerals are also the most likely areas for the “mineral estate” and the “surface estate” to be separated. With a little research and dedication, you can reunite your titles and maximize your land’s potential value.

What Are the Financial Benefits to Owning Mineral Rights?

Owning your land’s mineral rights allows you to get as much profit and value from your land as possible, for your present enjoyment and for your descendants. It also gives you control over when and how oil, gas, or other minerals can be extracted from your land. The financial gain from mineral rights can be prolific, as it provides endless opportunities for you to build your legacy and financially support your family.

 If you own the mineral rights, you can pass those rights on to your heirs and lock them into the family for generations. You can also sell your mineral rights or lease them if you’re not interested in managing the drilling, production, and sale of your land’s resources. Your land’s hidden resources could entitle you to immense financial gain, but there is a process to nailing down the title.

How Can I Learn More About My Land’s Mineral Rights?

Hiring a professional is the easiest way to learn what claim you may have to your property’s mineral rights. In the United States, the General Mining Law allows mineral rights to be sold separately to individuals or corporations. The most common situation in Texas is where a previous surface owner has reserved the mineral rights in a previous sale of the property. This law was created to encourage settlers to move out west in the late 19th century, but its regulations still hold true today.

This law does add another level of complexity to analyzing your land’s potential value, as your property’s mineral rights could be wrapped up in layers of paperwork and legal jargon. Furthermore, Texas doesn’t follow the Public Land Survey System, which plats or divides up property for sale; it uses the old British metes and bounds system to list the block, lot number, and subdivision name of the property.

Where Do I Start To Find Out Who Owns The Mineral Rights On My Property?

The first step to researching your land’s mineral rights is to analyze historical deeds and property records. Research carefully, as your mineral rights could have changed hands several times throughout each term of ownership. Gaps in the records may exist, which will require further study into different public records.

Due to this process’s complexity, it may be worthwhile to hire a professional who can “run title” on mineral ownership. You can also pay a small fee to search a counties’ property records online, which may save more time than showing up to the county clerk’s office completely unprepared.

Running Your Mineral Title Requires Professionals. 

Ultimately, examining mineral rights requires an intense knowledge of quit-claim deeds, mineral deeds, royalty deeds, and more. If you’re examining your mineral rights for any reason other than mere curiosity, hiring a legal professional is absolutely imperative.

Securing mineral rights can be an overwhelming process and is one of the most common misunderstandings in land ownership. The potential gain could be well worth the effort, and if you’re brave enough to pursue your land’s mineral rights, it could greatly benefit your loved ones for years to come.

Learn the value of your ranch at our Ranch Valuation Tool. 

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Posted by Richmond Frasier • Partner on

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