Mineral Owner’s Guide to Unclaimed Property

Mineral owners, or heir who inherited oil and gas minerals may find that there are funds paid into the unclaimed property division of one or more states. This is because there are laws which require holders of property to periodically report and turn money over to the state. The state then holds the money until a claimant can prove that they are entitled to the money. This is a guide to aid mineral owners to discover and claim royalties and other money. Also, once funds are found it is important to make sure that in the future companies pay the funds to you and not an unclaimed division.

How to Search Oklahoma Unclaimed Property

For mineral owners, I recommend that you begin with a Mineral Owners Escrow Account Search. Click here When money is owed from a “Forced Pooling Order” to an owner who is deceased or cannot be located. This search will provide the most information including amounts being held. You may wish to review search tips below.

Clicking the item will take you to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission case data site.

Once downloaded you can see where the property is located. Keep in mind that it is possible that the property you are interested in is adjacent to the legal description provided.

You can review the names and addresses to see if there is a match for your individual by address or other information. If you were unaware that property was owned in the county you can do further lande research here.

Searching Oklahoma Unclaimed Property

You should also search unclaimed property in Oklahoma. This will include unpaid royalties from leases. There may also be some overlap with the MOEA data. Click here.

The site is fairly easy to manage.

<script src ="https://form.jotform.com/static/feedback2.js" type="text/javascript"></script><script type="text/javascript"> var JFL_203374960080150 = new JotformFeedback({ formId: '203374960080150', base: 'https://form.jotform.com/', windowTitle: 'Need help?', background: '#4a90e2', fontColor: '#FFFFFF', type: '2', height: 200, width: 300, openOnLoad: false }); </script> <a class="btn lightbox-203374960080150" style="margin-top: 16px"> General inquiry unclaimed property </a>


Don’t Forget Other States

Be sure to search for other states where the individual lived. It is also a good idea to search Texas and Delaware (where many companies are incorporated) even if the individual didn’t live there. This is because if the address was unknown, the funds may have been paid into that state’s unclaimed property. Links to all states, click here.

TIPS: Search Terms to Use

It is usually best to input the last name and first initial. For example if you were searching for Michael Smith. You would place Smith in the last name and letters “M” where the first name appears. This should load all Smiths with the first name that begins with “M”. Also, it is not uncommon for funds to be deposited for “M. Smith”

Searching for Property of Deceased Owners

Second search. Using the same example, also consider searching under. In unclaimed property try “Estate of Mi” and “Estate of Smith”. In the MOEA, try Estate in the last name.

Don’t forget to search under maiden, former names and even common misspellings.

What to Expect from Unclaimed Property

The Oklahoma Treasurer is very careful about paying out money from unclaimed property. There have been many scams targeting this agency. Therefore, the agency may require heightened scrutiny when evaluating a claim. This may also involve requiring probate especially if the funds exceed $10,000.

By Richard Winblad

Richard Winblad is a lifelong Oklahoma City Metro resident with a law practice focused on Elder Law and Estate Planning. His practice focus helping seniors and veterans by giving sound legal estate planning advice including Medicaid Estate Planning and Veteran’s Benefit Qualification. In 1984, Richard graduated from OSU with an undergraduate degree in Business he later sought and earned a Law Degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1992. His practice is based in Edmond and is held in a beautiful pre-statehood home close to UCO at 102 E. Thatcher. He is president of the Oklahoma City Commercial Lawyers Association, a group that provides legal an ethical training for attorneys. He is also a member of “Lawyers with Purpose”, an organization that provides in depth training and support to attorneys who practice in the area of elder law. He received an AV Preeminent® rating by his peers through Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™. Dedicated to educating the public, Richard does workshops and presentations all around the state for professionals and laypersons. These programs provide vital information to our veterans and seniors as they look forward in planning living and financial needs that fit their desires.

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