Trull Service Company Logo

The Process of Passing Down Mineral Rights in Texas

A Comprehensive Guide to Selling Mineral Rights

Share This Post

Unlocking the value of your assets involves more than meets the eye, especially when it comes to something as specialized as passing down mineral rights. Whether you’re well-versed in asset management or entirely new to the concept of estate planning, understanding the ins and outs of mineral rights can make a great difference in how you protect and grow your assets, both for you and future generations.

The goal of this blog is to provide you with a complete guide on how to navigate the often complex process of passing down mineral rights. Whether you’re thinking of selling, transferring, or passing them down through a will or trust, knowing the correct steps to take is crucial. We’ll explore everything from beginning evaluations and legal considerations to overcoming challenges and ensuring a smooth transition of these invaluable assets.

So, stick around as we uncover the hidden treasure of successfully passing down mineral rights. Your future self—and future generations—will thank you!

Before we dive in, let’s briefly cover what mineral rights are. Imagine you own a piece of land. Now, what’s beneath that land—be it oil, coal, or other precious resources—those are your mineral rights. Unlike surface rights, which concern the land and anything growing on it, mineral rights specifically pertain to the ownership and control of what’s found below the surface. Learning more about the difference between surface and mineral rights is the first step to uncovering your hidden wealth opportunities.

The Process of Passing Down Mineral Rights in Texas
Why do Mineral Rights Matter? Think of it this way, your mineral rights could be a goldmine (sometimes literally!) in your asset portfolio. These rights can bring in royalties, provide tax benefits, and most importantly, serve as an asset that can be passed down to your heirs. In a world of fluctuating markets and economic uncertainty, mineral rights can be a valuable, more stable investment.

Preliminary Steps Before Passing Down Mineral Rights

Before you even think about transferring mineral rights to your loved ones, there are some important first steps you’ll need to take. Ignoring these can result in complications later on, affecting both your legal standing and the value of your asset.

Confirm Mineral Rights Ownership

You’d be surprised how often people think they own mineral rights when, in fact, they don’t. That’s why the first step is to confirm your property ownership by researching land records and mineral deeds. These documents, usually accessible through your local county clerk’s office, will show whether you, as the land owner, also possess the mineral rights to the property. If your land has been leased to an oil and gas company through oil and gas leases, these documents are particularly crucial.

While going through records might give you some insights, it can be complicated stuff filled with legal jargon. An expert can provide a comprehensive evaluation and confirm whether you’re the mineral owner. So, consider hiring professionals who specialize in mineral rights, title search and land records to ensure that you actually own what you think you own.

Mineral Rights Valuation

You can’t just slap a price tag on your mineral rights, you’ll need to determine their actual worth. There are a few methods for this, such as income projection for producing minerals based on potential royalties, or comparison with similar properties. If your land is subject to oil and gas leases, the rates and terms of those leases can also be a factor in your valuation.

An accurate valuation is not only essential for understanding the fair value of what you’re passing down but also for tax considerations. Overvaluing your mineral rights can result in paying more in taxes while undervaluing can raise red flags with tax authorities. Accurate valuation can also impact estate planning and financial management for both the current mineral owner and the future recipients.

Legal Considerations

Understanding the legal landscape is crucial when it comes to mineral rights. Laws can vary by state and affect everything from the transfer process between mineral owners to how royalties are paid. If you’re dealing with an oil and gas company, it’s essential to understand the legal terms of your engagement as outlined in leases or other legal documents.

Legal issues can make or break your experience of transferring mineral rights. That’s why it’s wise to consult a legal expert well-versed in the matter. They can guide you through the maze of laws and regulations, helping you understand your obligations and rights as a land owner or mineral owner. They can also assist you in drafting any required legal document for the transfer process.
The Process of Passing Down Mineral Rights in Texas
By paying attention to these preliminary steps, you’ll be setting yourself up for a smoother, more secure experience in passing down your mineral rights. In the next section, we’ll get into the nitty-gritty of how these rights can be transferred effectively.

Remember, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, Trull Service Company is always here to provide expert guidance on all things related to mineral rights. Feel free to reach out with your questions!

How Are Mineral Rights Passed Down?

Navigating the realm of mineral rights, especially in sectors like oil and gas, can feel like walking through a maze. But don’t fret! Passing down such assets, whether they are producing mineral rights or non-producing ones, can be simplified with the right knowledge. Here, we’ll look at several methods for transferring ownership.

Wills and Trusts

Your will serves as the roadmap for how your assets, including mineral rights, will be distributed after your death. If you own oil and gas mineral rights, specifying the inheritance of these in your will is crucial. Just as you’d mention other property or assets, you can specify that your mineral rights be passed on to certain heirs.

Alternatively, trusts can also be used to manage and transfer mineral rights. Trusts can provide additional control over how these assets are managed and can often offer tax benefits. In a trust, you can specify conditions, timelines, and other factors, making it a more customizable option compared to a will.

Sale or Transfer

Selling your mineral rights is another way of ‘passing them down’, albeit not within your family. When you sell, you’re transferring mineral rights ownership to another entity entirely. Always remember to conduct a proper valuation, particularly in industries like oil and natural gas production, where the value can fluctuate based on market conditions.

If you’re not keen on selling but want to ease the responsibilities of owning mineral rights, you can also transfer ownership to family members while still retaining some benefits, like royalties from oil and gas extraction, for example.

Co-ownership and Partnerships

Co-ownership is when mineral rights are held by more than one party. This can happen automatically, say through inheritance, or be set up intentionally. In the oil and gas sector, this is often seen in partnerships formed by oil and gas companies to explore or develop a site.

Each co-owner will have their share of responsibilities and rights. While they will benefit from a fair deal of the revenues (especially lucrative in producing mineral rights), they are also obligated to contribute to expenses and decision-making processes. It’s crucial to lay out these terms clearly to avoid future disputes.

Documentation and Recording

When it comes to ownership and transfer rights, whether through sale, wills, or co-ownership, it’s critical to have everything documented. From property deeds that specify surface rights vs. mineral rights to contracts detailing the specifics of the mineral rights transfer, you’ll want everything in black and white.

After any form of transfer, it’s essential to properly record these changes with the relevant governmental bodies. This usually involves updating property deeds and any other legal documents to reflect the new owner and ownership status. Without proper recording, the transfer of the property deed is not complete, leaving room for potential legal complications.

Potential Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Managing mineral rights comes with its own set of hurdles. From tax implications to disputes, let’s take a quick look at these challenges and how to tackle them.

Tax Implications

If you sell your mineral rights, you might have to pay a special tax called “capital gains tax.” This is the tax you pay when you sell something for more money than you bought it for.

Also, if you’re making money because a company is using your land to extract minerals, those earnings could be taxed, too. So, it’s smart to know how your earnings might affect your taxes.

Disputes and Legal Challenges

After a death, assets like mineral rights often go through probate, which is a legal process to authenticate a will and distribute assets according to it. If no will exists, probate helps determine how assets should be divided.

Issues can arise during this process if multiple property owners claim the same mineral rights. If disputes arise over mineral estate ownership or inheritance, consult a legal expert in mineral rights immediately.

Preventative Measures

To avoid issues, keep all documents, like the mineral deed, clear and up-to-date. This will reduce the chances of disputes and make the probate process smoother.

By being aware of these challenges and taking proactive steps, you can better navigate the complicated waters of managing and transferring mineral rights. Remember, knowledge is power, and in this case, it might also mean fewer headaches and more financial gain.

Next Steps After Transfer and Conclusion

Congratulations on successfully transferring your mineral rights! But your journey in mineral rights management is far from over. What you do next can be just as crucial for your long-term financial success.

Management and Operations

Now that the mineral rights are yours, effective management becomes the next step. Whether your rights are producing or non-producing, don’t take your eye off the ball. Stay on top of any changes in status and monitor any income that may come your way.

To enhance your management strategies, don’t hesitate to consult with experts specializing in mineral rights. Their insights can help you unlock the full potential of these valuable assets.

Ongoing Responsibilities

Along with the excitement of new ownership come ongoing responsibilities, particularly in the legal and financial realms. Be aware that you’ll have tax obligations based on royalty interest and any income generated from these rights. Keeping meticulous records and consulting a tax specialist can save you from future headaches. Keep in mind that existing lease agreements and contracts typically carry over after the mineral rights transfer.


Transferring and managing mineral rights is a complex but rewarding endeavor. From understanding tax implications to navigating the probate process and ongoing responsibilities, there’s a lot to consider.

However, this shouldn’t intimidate you. With the right information, you can make educated decisions that benefit you in the long run. Remember, the key to successfully managing these valuable assets is awareness and preparation.

Contact Trull Service Company

The Process of Passing Down Mineral Rights in Texas
Navigating the complexities of mineral rights can be daunting, but you don’t have to go it alone. If you still have questions or find any part of this process confusing, don’t hesitate to reach out for expert advice.

Contact Trull Service Company today. We’re here to clear up any uncertainties and guide you every step of the way in your mineral rights journey.

Have Questions About Mineral Rights?

For any questions regarding your rights on your land, we’re here to help from the management of it all the way down to the physical labor it takes to maintain it. Let us know how we can help you.

Or Call Us At (361) 972-2537

More To Explore

Linda P. Curtner

Linda P. Curtner

Senior Administrative Assistant

Linda has been with the Trull Service team for 37 years since starting in 1986.  Linda prepares farming, hunting, and pasture leases as well as doing bookkeeping. She also prepares labor and equipment for billing for the Trull Service entities and outside entities. She appreciates the flexibility of hours here at TSC, as well as the friendships that have grown over the years.

Irvin H. Welch


Irvin has worked at Trull Service Company since March 2020. He was hired as Chief Operating Officer with a succession plan to take over as President which he did a year later in 2021. As President, Irvin oversees all operations of Trull Service Company including implementation of board directives, budgeting and financial planning, land improvement projects, land sales/purchases, mineral rights, and oil/gas. He loves managing land in Texas and has managed and consulted on large and small ranches in Texas for over 20 years. 

His position at Trull Services allows him to use his knowledge in natural resource management to manage farms and ranches for the benefit of not only our clients, but for the betterment of Texas soil, air, and water. In his free time, Irvin and his wife, Karla, enjoy spending time outdoors hunting, fishing, and attending sporting activities for their son, Ryan.

Roy A. “Bubba” Glaze

Supervisor of Field Operations

Roy has been with Trull Service Company for more than 20 years, and has worked his way up from the bottom. He started out flying the canals with his father from a very young age, learning the properties. Now, as Field Supervisor he oversees all land improvements and specializes in developing relationships with our clients and tenants. He’s passionate about working at Trull and helping our clients in any way possible.

When he is not at work, Roy enjoys spending time outdoors, working on DIY projects, and home improvements. He loves the Hill Country and relaxing in the beautiful Texas Streams. He also enjoys listening to and playing music with his two sons, Nathan and Caiden.

Janet S. Tedder

Janet S. Tedder

Senior Administrative Assistant

Janet has worked with the Trull Service Company for 35 Years, starting in 1988. She is the receptionist; which entails answering the phone and greeting people when they come in. Her work also includes mail, bookkeeping, and payroll. She is always there to lend a helping hand whenever needed. Janet enjoys the friendly work environment and treasures the friendships made over the years.

Charlette S. Hunt

Charlette S. Hunt

Senior Administrative Assistant

Charlette has worked with our Trull Service Team for 39 years and started in 1984 and assists with all Farm Service Agency (FSA) paperwork. She does bookkeeping, processes the statements, division orders, and the title work on the land and minerals we manage — which gives her valuable knowledge of our business. She also enjoys working with her co-workers and the relationships they have developed.

Cathy G. Hunter

Executive Vice-President

Cathy joined our team in 1975 and has assisted our clients with attention and care for 48 years. She started working for the Trull family in 1975 as a bookkeeper and was promoted to Office Supervisor in 1985. Now, Cathy manages all aspects of the accounting and tax preparation for Trull Service Company and the many entities it manages as the standing Executive Vice President.

Cathy enjoys working at the Trull office because of the family atmosphere and has always felt blessed to work for a company that cared about her and her family.