Fractional Undivided Interest

Oklahoma mineral owners,

Today a woman, let's call her Ruth, from outside Duncan called the shop and said her mother passed last September and she and the three other siblings wanted to sell their Oklahoma mineral rights to simplify the estate. Luckily, she had the legal descriptions on hand from a will (her mother died testate). However, Ruth didn't know what "an undivided 1/7 interest in and to the oil and gas minerals located in Section...Township...Range. Isn't something that's a fractional interest already divided? As with most title issues, the answer is yes and no.

The easiest way to think of undivided ownership is to think of a swimming pool. For example, brothers Waite and Frank Phillips each own an undivided 50% of the swimming pool behind Philbrook. Who owns the deep end? Who owns the water next to the swim up bar? The answer is they both do. Both Waite and Frank own 50% of the water in the pool down to the individual atoms (that's two hydrogen and one oxygen for those of y'all who didn't go to chemistry class). Undivided mineral ownership works the same way. Ruth's mother owned 1/7 of the tract (pool) of land. 

Ruth and her siblings were going to inherit a few tracts of land, some large and small small. The family wanted to sell their smaller Oklahoma minerals interests because each of the siblings would have just ended up with a couple acres if they split them up four ways. Berlin Royalties made them a cash offer on their oil and gas interests they wanted to sell. 

More to follow,