Am hoping someone on this forum can provide some insite. I am a mineral owner in MI and am familiar with that state's rules/laws, however, this question pertains to UTAH.
We recently discovered reference to a mineral lease from 1980, held in my husband's Grandmother's name. She had moved from Utah to VA at the time that what looks like a lease extension took place. We are assuming she must have retained the mineral rights when she sold her surface rights for this lease to have been extended after she moved. I have talked to the country clerk in Sanpete County and am told there is no dormancy rule in Utah regarding mineral rights, so we assume that means the mineral rights don't go back to the surface owner without being deeded to them. The Grandmother was deceased in 1990 and there was no will, however, her son (my husband's father) had documents pertaining to a 1980 lease in his possession. The son is now also deceased. Assuming the deed was never transferred (we would have to send someone to Utah to go through the books to be sure), is it possible for acres to be lumped into a unit for which an oil company was unable to locate the owner of record? If so, does the surviving family of the deceased have any claim to the mineral rights and any activity that may have involved the property after the owner of record was deceased? The county clerk's office indicated some of the property in question is included in an adjacent lot that is currently leased. I'd like to note this does not involve many acres and is more an inquiry of curiosity than greed :)
Thanks for any guidance in this matter.