Familial mineral rights

Within the last couple of years my father leased some minerals he owns in Blaine County. We were in contact and were working with the landman hired by the oil and gas company that was to do the drilling on the property. We were working with the landman locate the possible heirs of some of our long lost relatives. The land services/landmen were not able to locate or identify any heirs of my father’s two great uncles. We aren’t even really sure that there are/were any heirs living or otherwise. The landman thought we stood a pretty good chance at recovering the rights to the minerals. So we and a couple other similarly situated family members think we might be entitled to those minerals. One uncle lived out of state and the other died in Oklahoma. I have not been able to find a probate or any other information on his death. Can anyone tell me what the process for recovery of these minerals? Thank you!

You are looking at a probate action.

If there is no Will, an heir at law can bring the probate case. The property would be divided according to intestacy statute. Several questions would be needed:

  1. Was the person married at the time of death?
  2. Did the person have children including adopted children?
  3. Did the person’s parents predecease him/her?
  4. Then you are looking at siblings, and if they were deceased, etc.

Sometimes joint probates can be used to handle multiple generations.

If there is a Will, a legatee, executor or heir can bring the probate.