Wills and trusts are meant to protect an individual’s estate and make sure it is given to the right people. This isn’t always limited to houses, cars and bank accounts. Oil rights and mineral rights can be an incredibly valuable part of estate planning.

Oil rights and mineral rights are generally what they sound like: the rights to ownership of oil and/or mineral found underneath the ground. These rights can apply to the property owned by the testator or rights owned by the testator to material underneath someone else’s property.

Can you fight for oil and mineral rights during probate?

You may be able to contest the terms of a will or trust when it comes to mineral rights, but it really depends on your circumstances. It is possible that you could contest, but you will likely need to consult a legal professional.

If I inherited property, did I inherit the oil and mineral rights?

Potentially. If you inherit a plot of land, or surface rights, it’s possible that you also own the rights of what is below. However, you will need to research the title to find out if anyone else owns all or part of the oil and mineral rights.

What do you do with oil and mineral rights?

The value of oil and mineral rights really depends on what mineral you have the rights to and what portion of the rights you have. If you share the rights with others, you will likely need to work together to decide what to do with them. Sometimes, extraction and oil companies reach out to heirs once titles change. You and those you share mineral rights with may decide to sell or lease them to a corporation or extraction company.

If you think you may have inherited oil and mineral rights or are considering what to do with them, always talk to a lawyer. Be sure to protect yourself and your rights before signing or leasing anything.