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Clear Title Determine Ownership Rights In Surface And Mineral Ownership

In Texas, New Mexico and other oil-rich states, land is often owned by numerous parties. Determining each party’s rights regarding surface and mineral ownership can be difficult. Disputes over ownership and use can cause substantial delays to pipeline and drilling projects, resulting in large financial loss.

Wetsel, Allen, & Lederle, LLP, located in Sweetwater and Lubbock, Texas, is a leader in oil and gas law. The firm’s attorneys have been helping clients resolve title disputes for more than 40 years. In addition to Texas, the firm assists those in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Colorado.

Title Examination Services

Fractional ownership interests, divided surface and mineral ownership, chain of title issues, inaccurate land descriptions, liens, easements and leases can cloud title and give rise to disputes. Before oil and gas projects can progress, the title must be clear and ownership rights accurately defined.

Wetsel, Allen, & Lederle, LLP, has been determining “who owns what” for more than four decades. The lawyers take all necessary steps to resolve disputes in an efficient and economical manner, so leases and royalty agreements can be negotiated, financing arranged and land development can begin.

The firm’s title services include:

Board Certification

The firm’s decades of industry experience are your biggest asset. The lawyers have an in-depth understanding of oil and gas law; they know the industry players and what it takes to get a project off the ground. Attorney Rod E. Wetsel is board-certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in the area of oil, gas and mineral law.

Frequently Asked Questions About Titles

Land and property ownership can be complex. Determining who owns what can take time. Two terms often used interchangeably are titles and deeds. However, these actually have very different meanings. Here are some common questions:

What is a title, and how is it different than a deed?

Titles and deeds are important in the context of land ownership. A deed refers to a legal document that is in the public record. It is physical evidence that can show legal ownership.

A title is not something that can be physically held. Rather, it refers to an individual’s legal rights of ownership.

What are some common examples of a title defect?

Title defects are factors that impact an individual’s rights to claim ownership of property or land. Common title defects include:

  • Clerical errors. A clerical error can affect a deed, which may then impact the title.
  • Legal irregularities. For example, minor children or people who are not of sound mind cannot sign deeds.
  • Unknown liens. Liens may be placed on a property because the previous owner was in debt. Often, these remain in place after a sale.

What is a title opinion?

A title opinion involves a title attorney reviewing deeds and other records related to the ownership of a property. The main purpose of obtaining a title opinion is to establish clear ownership rights as well as uncover any potential title defects. Without a title opinion, it can be difficult to obtain a clear title to the property before a purchase.

What is an easement, and how can it “cloud” title?

In some cases, the owner of the land may grant rights to other parties. For example, the owner of a private road may permit other business owners to use that road to access their premises. This is commonly referred to as an easement.

An easement is a legal arrangement whereby the parties to that easement generally have rights even after a sale has gone through. Easements may create a “cloud” on a title because they can cause complications for new property owners.

Get Started With An Initial Consultation

Wetsel, Allen, & Lederle, LLP, represents individual landowners and business entities throughout Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Colorado. For help resolving title issues, contact the firm today. Call 800-787-0784 to schedule a consultation.