Mineral Interests Overview In Texas

Contesting a will in Texas

Written by Robert Ray

Robert Ray handles inheritance disputes of all kinds. He takes cases throughout Texas.

In Texas, when you own mineral interest, you lease that interest in exchange for receiving royalty payments based on how much of the minerals are extracted. Mineral interest or royalty interest are often involved in inheritance disputes like contesting a will. This article gives a brief description of mineral or royalty interest in Texas. 

Every fact situation is different and you should not take, or refrain from taking, any action based on what you read. You should talk to your attorney about your situation to understand what your rights are.

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In Texas, an instrument conveying land transfers both the surface estate and all minerals and mineral rights, unless the instrument contains a reservation or expresses a contrary intention. In many cases, a person will sell land but will reserve the minerals. That creates two estates, the surface and the mineral estate. I have written about that…

Learn about oil & gas inheritance laws in Texas

The mineral estate is comprised of five severable rights: “1) the right to develop, 2) the right to lease, 3) the right to receive bonus payments, 4) the right to receive delay rentals, and 5) the right to receive royalty payments.”

The holder of the leasing privilege is the executive-interest holder. The executive enjoys the exclusive right to make and amend mineral leases and, correspondingly, to negotiate for the payment of bonuses, delay rentals, and royalties, subject to a duty of utmost good faith and fair dealing to non-executive interest holders. In Texas, a typical oil and gas lease actually conveys the mineral estate with the possibility that the mineral estate will revert to the owner if the oil company stops producing.

A royalty interest is a nonpossessory interest in minerals. A party possessing a royalty interest that does not include the right to lease the mineral estate, receive delay rentals, or bonus payments is referred to as a non-participating royalty-interest holder. I have written about non-participating interest here.

This article is based on a 2015 decision of the Supreme Court of Texas in a case dealing with the very complicated issue of “fractional royalty interest” versus “fraction of royalty interest.” Hysaw v. Dawkins.

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Robert Ray is the Editor and owner of this site. Board Certified, Personal Injury Trial Law — Texas Board of Legal Specialization. We handle cases throughout Texas. Our principal office is in Lantana, Texas (DFW area).

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Heirship proceeding are different from will contest. If more than four years have passed, it may be difficult, but may not impossible, to gain the inheritance that someone else has that should be the heirs. This is complicated, involving heirship proceedings but there is a possibility that it can be done.

The slayer rule doesn’t always apply

The slayer rule doesn’t always apply

The slayer rule means that a person who murders another person cannot inherit from that person. Texas doesn’t have the slayer rule but there are other methods of keeping the slayer from inheriting.
In a recent article in England, the courts let the wife inherit from her husband that she murdered because he had been so abusive toward her.

Robert Ray

Board Certified, Personal Injury Trial Law — Texas Board of Legal Specialization. We handle cases all across Texas. Our principal office is in Lantana, Texas (DFW area).

Robert Ray is a Texas attorney who handles inheritance disputes

Why Us?

Inheritance disputes involve someone who has taken advantage of the elderly. These cases are complicated and most often, but not always, involve outsiders. We represent you knowing that these inheritance disputes are private and painful family matters. We know this is a stressful time for you. We strive to obtain the quickest and best results possible so that you can get this troubling episode behind you.


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