[PROBLEM]: I sold my farm and the purchaser says I sold my oil and gas rights! Can I get them back?
[FACT]: It happens more often than you think! In a real estate transaction, unless the oil, gas and other minerals are “properly reserved’ you can lose your minerals, even if you didn’t intend to sell them.
[EXAMPLE]: Husband and wife own a farm and one-half of the minerals. They advertise their farm for sale. It’s sold at public auction to Bill and clearly states in the sale bill that “no minerals are being sold” or some other language to that effect, e.g. “surface only.” Husband and wife and Bill go to closing and the deed read as follows:
The southwest Quarter (SW/4) of Section X, Township Y North, Range Z, WIM, less and except all minerals previously conveyed or reserved of record.
[RESULT]: Under Oklahoma law, Bill might get record title to the oil, gas and other minerals! IF Bill agrees to re-convey the minerals back, everyone can breathe a sigh of relief. If not, you’ve got a lawsuit on your hands to recapture your mineral interest.
[ANALYSIS]: IF it does not appear from the recorded instruments that both parties understood what was being sold and what was bought, some very complicated rules come into play to determine whether Bill’s deed can be reformed. You can only solve this problem by having an experienced lawyer analyze your particular facts.
[RECOMMENDATION]: You must be very careful when transferring real estate. An inexperienced or under-informed conveyance can cost you tons of money if it is done improperly.
[TRUTH]: Many people prepare deeds to transfer real property without the training or knowledge to properly protect your interests. Contact your lawyer!