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Montana Deed Research

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Good morning! I've been a lurker here for quite some time (from the old forums even) due to a related industry but today have signed up to post in hopes of someone being able to assist.

We need to try and determine ownership of some land (deed research?), along with the ownership of mineral rights. I am not sure if this can be done by us through the county courthouse or if a surveyor needs to help out as we are not at all familiar with this process. Is this something that an average person can do themselves or is it better to hire it out? One main issue with this, is we do not live in Montana so it makes going to the courthouse rather difficult to say the least.

If the answer is we need to hire this out, does anyone have a suggestion for a reputable firm in Montana who would be able to perform this deed research? It is well understood there are costs associated with this work.

Please feel free to private message if you are able to assist.

Thanks in advance for any help or input.

Posted : May 24, 2023 9:09 am
Said Lot
Posts: 91
Member Member

Finding deeds should be pretty easy. Find the parcel in question on Montana cadastral and they often list the current deed and sometimes others on there. You may be able to do it all online depending on which county it’s in. 
For mineral rights you will want to have some names to search for in terms of grantor / grantee. 
Smaller counties may have to be searched in person. I’d google surveyors and title companies near the property location and see if they’d be willing to help you. You can try to contact the clerk and see if they will bird dog it for you, but most of the time they are not too excited about it. 

Posted : May 24, 2023 1:29 pm
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That site will allow you to download the patents and find out if the Feds reserved minerals. If they did then there are no private minerals. You can also get the MT plat from that site to confirm. 

Idoc market will allow you to search for your deed in some Montana counties (not all). If you tell the county name I can let you know if that county is on Idoc. Still earlier deeds may not be scanned, if your deed is older than a certain date (varies by county) then it won't be available. 

Read your deed carefully, the grantor will reserve minerals and that ends your chance of having minerals, if they don't reserve the minerals in the deed then they transfer what they have to you (some weird exceptions). However, it's possible that the grantor didn't have any to grant so they didn't bother reserving. 

Once you've looked through the paperwork, decide if you wish to find out the mineral interest on the property, if you do then it's time to hire a mineral title search. Get a recommendation from a title company, it's a fairly specialized business. 

The Montana Cadastral is a start but it's limited, it may or may not list the deed. 

If you don't have a copy of your deed (it's something you really should have) and you can't get it on-line then call the title company and get one. 

Posted : May 25, 2023 6:42 am