Hello again. First of all your forum has been a great help to leading me in the right direction. I feel as if I am getting a little closer every day. I have began the process of trying to receive my Mineral Rights Royalties. I am hoping I can get just a little more push in the right direction. I pray this is an easy fix. The Current company leasing our mineral rights. Claims my father is not listed. Yet, I see it in all the legal papers I have pulled up online and even on the lost money site for oklahoma. So they tell me I have to have an owner number. My family as I mentioned before is not very helpful with giving information out. So I am wondering if it is possible for me to find that owner number online or by calling someone. Like I have said. This forum has been such a helpful tool. I pray it can help me get just one step closer. I appreciate all the help. I hope you alll have a bleesed evening.
Is the oil and gas company wanting to lease you or did you/your father already sign a lease? Is the oil and gas company or another company telling you that your father is not listed? A lot of times they can look up owners by their social security number.
The company is liable for royalties if the owner has clear title whether or not the company has issued (or cannot locate) an owner number. It wasn’t clear whether your father was living. If he has passed the heirs may need to do something to establish that they are entitled to the minerals and royalties. This usually involves probate unless your father had a trust or transfer on death deed in place.
I apologize. I was thinking the same people who seen my previous post would respond. My great grandmother was the original owner. She willed it to her children, then their children and so forth. My father died in 2011., as well as my grandmother, 9 months before my dad. From my understanding, a lease was started on it just prior to my father’s passing. I found out through a family member about it. 2 of my aunts are getting paid. One uncle is not. Me and my brother should be getting royalties as well. The company is asking me for an owner number. Which no family members have. An affidavit of heirship has been filed in grady county for my grandmother and father. The oil company is asking for documentations. I have sent them copies of the affidavit but they say that is not good enough.
The oil company is probably not willing to rely on the Affidavit because it does not create marketable title. If they are unwilling to rely on the Affidavit, they will require a probate of your father’s estate to release funds to you.
To be perfectly clear, an Owner Number is something that a company assigns to a particular person who owns the minerals. In short, it is an account number. This is not anything issued by any governmental agency. While it may be helpful for the company to know the account number of the last payee, it does not excuse them from payment if you don’t have it. The royalties and the obligation to pay them don’t go away.
Rachel is correct in that a probate will probably be needed. If more than one estate requires a probate they can usually be combined into a joint probate to save time and money.
Also the estates may qualify for a summary or ancillary probate procedure which saves time and money.
Richard, What if there is an existing trust for when the property owner dies? Long story short I have been awarded mineral rights in a divorce and an operating company wants me to sign a “Division Order” HOWEVER, the old adage (and past history) of “Actions speak louder than words” tells me not to sign it as there are too many discrepancies with the info they provided and what I found on the Oklahoma Corporation Commission web site. Which do you believe would help me best as far as getting what was ordered a Mineral Title Opinion, a Mineral Deed or the Transfer on Death Deed you referenced above? And what recourse (if any) is there if they refuse to sign any of those documents? Ugg Thank you in advance.
Sometimes it can be very difficult to navigate because you have state laws to follow but then most oil and gas operators also have internal controls that dictate what they will or will not accept to transfer interest.
They may not be willing to rely on the affidavit of heirship depending on a few things:
- how much money is at stake? If an operator pays oil and gas royalties based on an Affidavit of Heirship, then they take a business risk that if they pay incorrectly they will have to eat that cost if somebody comes to contest it (example: an heir files a probate later on that has the property passing differently than outlined in the AOH)
- did your father have a will that leaves his interest differently than how it is outlined in the affidavit of heirship?
- Does the Affidavit of Heirship meet the requirements of the Oklahoma Statute?
When I worked for an operator, I always appreciated when someone would send in a transfer of interest with an explanation, all the documents to show the chain of title (all the recorded documents to show how the land has been passed down through time), current address list of all of the heirs and tax IDs . This is not necessary, but it did make it easier for me to process a bit faster and relay what/if anything was missing that my company would require to approve the transfer.
Also, if your aunts are getting paid then maybe they have a Division/Transfer Order. That should contain their owner number on it (along with on their royalty checks). Sometimes they will also contain the owner number that the interest was transferred from (assuming it would have been under your grandmothers name?)
You can also request a copy of any title requirements that are keeping the account in “suspense.” That will outline what needs to be done so that they can make payments to you.
I hope this helps and best of luck with everything!