Oil/Gas/Mineral Rights-What to Do If You Don't Know
My grandfather owned mineral rights in Seminole County, Oklahoma. The legal paperwork I have has the description as: In the southwest quarter of the Southwest quarter (SW/4 SW/4) of Section 16,Township 10 North, Range 6 East, producing from the Basil Pennsylvanian Unconformity Fornmation.
My grandfather died in 1968 and the rights were legally transferred to my father (50%) and my step-grandmother (50%). They were the only 2 living heirs.
My father died in 1986 and my step grandmother in 1988. My fathers rights were transferred legally to my mother and she passed in 2012. We discovered that my grandmother had money listed in the Oklahoma Unclaimed funds but I was never successful in getting much information because step grandchildren are not considered an heir in Oklahoma.
My question is since my mother's death in 2012 neither my brother or myself have received any correspondence or any checks. My mother was receiving some small royalty checks prior to her death.
I have no idea where to begin- do we need to make a trip to Oklahoma? We both reside in Arkansas. Please can you give us some guidance on where to begin to see if there has been any royalties paid and who we need to contact.
Thank you so much!
Deana M. Eggleston
I would recommend that you hire an attorney to assist you. Oil and gas companies are sometimes not as cooperative as they could be in making royalty payments to those entitled to them. Assuming that you do not want to hire an attorney, one action you can take would be to write the operator and tell them who you are and what interest you claim to start the process. Old check stubs are another good source of information. The real estate records of the county clerk may contain information about leases if you know where to look. You can contact the state agency that oversees oil and gas production and/or the state tax commission and ask them when that lease last had production. If there is recent production, contact the operator and have them update their records and pay you the back royalties. Also, you may want to check the state unclaimed property fund to see if royalties were paid.