How to find a definitive listing of what I have inherited

Hi - My confusion abounds! My sister and I get offers to lease on a regular basis, for properties we didn’t know about. Paid for OK Mineral Registry for a couple of years and found it to be a waste of money. We recently got an offer with names of my deceased grandfather, mother, great aunts, and deceased sister - but my name was not included. Should we find and pay a landman to search out any and all mineral rights that may still be out there? We have also found property in Wyoming. Our approach has been entirely piecemeal and uncoordinated, and I’m so uninformed that I’d like to throw in the towel! Sorry for venting - I could use some advice!

You can do a bit of legwork on your own first and then get a landman involved to finish the last bits and that will be less expensive. The repository that counts and where the landmen go are the county courthouses.

1-If you own in Oklahoma, the best place to start is It is free to look and costs just a bit to print. Look under all the names that you listed above and yours and your sisters-maiden and married names! You may need to use the Advanced Search as the general search can turn up too many names. Try various ways that your names can be misspelled. Amazing how many are wrong in there. A few of the counties are not on there, but they have their own websites. You are looking for leases, deeds, affidavits of heirship, probate documents, etc. Other states may have similar sites. The digital files only go back so far depending upon the county, so you may find the beginning of a rabbit trail, but need a landman to physically go the courthouse to finish up.

2- Look up unclaimed funds at the State Treasurer’s office. Oklahoma State Treasurer - Unclaimed Property. Also look in any other states if anyone lived out of state. Funds may be there. Check Delaware just in case. Many operators are legally domiciled there.

3.Mineral Owners Escrow Account Search the escrow account on the Oklahoma Corporation commission to see if any of your names show up.

The easiest way for me to keep track of things is in a giant spreadsheet. I use Excel. I file by state, county, township and range and then section (or abstract #).

It is the mineral owners’ responsibility to file their names and contact information in the county courthouses where they own minerals. It can be hard to do that if you don’t know about the minerals! Save any of the offer letters and ask the one who offered how they found your name, description of the property, etc. You will also have to contact any operators that are producing on your property and get them to change the names to the correct ones to pay.

It can take a bit of work, but you will be glad you got your documents in order. The more informed you are, the better decisions you can make. There are some steps after these, but didn’t want to overwhelm you all at once.

Martha gave you lots of great places to start! My guess that your offer has several deceased family members is because there may be one or several missing probates. If a decedent’s estate has not been probated in Oklahoma oil and gas companies don’t always know who the correct heir may be or who to contact. As you dig into what you own you may keep that in mind. An attorney should be able to help you clear up the ownership by filing a probate in Oklahoma.

Susan Great advice. Having been in a similar situation I just want to encourage you to not give up. It has been well worth our time financially and we think that will continue for our children and grandchildren!

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