A mineral deed refers to a document used by land owners to transfer mineral rights to other parties, explains The Law Dictionary. Mineral deed forms for various states are available at websites such as FindForms.com.
The legal system of the United States allows property owners to separate mineral rights from property rights, Nolo explains. For this reason, such owners can sell their land but still retain ownership of minerals on the property or transfer mineral rights and property rights to separate buyers. Once these rights are separated, subsequent sales and transfers only involve the land, not the minerals.
For this reason, property deeds issued after such separations may fail to indicate that mineral rights belong to other owners. Unfortunately, the process of finding out if property and mineral rights have been separated is generally expensive, notes Nolo.
However, property owners can take some consolation from the fact that U.S. laws and regulations forbid mineral owners from interfering with improvements such as homes and other structures during the process of extraction, according to Nolo. Because of this restriction, mineral owners are unlikely to be interested in extracting minerals from densely populated areas or localities characterized by many houses on small lots.
Mineral rights can be passed on to heirs, explains LegalZoom. Such rights are legally transferred to heirs during probate proceedings.