Mineral Rights Paperwork - Keep or Toss?


I am sure many of you are familiar with the myriad of papers that are mailed to us as mineral rights owners. I am wondering what, out of all this paper, is good and/or necessary to keep.

I am mainly concerned with the following:

  1. check stubs

  2. documents from the Corporation Commission of the State of Oklahoma

  3. any other legal proceedings (bankruptcy notices, for instance)

Are the laws on how long I am required to keep any of these? Check stubs seem somewhat practical to keep, but I’d be happy to be rid of them if it’s not necessary. I don’t even understand half of what the documents from the corporation commission mean to begin with, and they just take up tons of space. I would like to get rid of anything I don’t need to keep, so please share your advice!

Thanks. :blush:

  1. You need to keep the check stubs for seven years for IRS purposes.

  2. All (almost) documents from the OCC are actually available in pdf form so you can save them digitally.

  3. I keep final forms from bankruptcies until they settle up. (I believe there is a clearinghouse and they might be available online.) I kind of do the seven year things with them as well.

I keep all correspondence, offers to lease or buy, division orders, leases, deeds, anything legal forever!

My experience in over 30 years of dealing with mineral royalties is that the minute to get rid of something you will need it. I would say that you should keep everything for 6 years because of the IRS. Even if you sell your mineral rights you need to keep papers or it may cost you in fines or extra taxes as you may have to justify what you claimed years earlier on your income taxes. I have a file cabinet and keep all the royalty records, division orders, etc. Better to have the information instead of needing it and then try to get it from an oil company or other entity. Especially now that there are many companies going out of business, merging, or being bought out. It has never been easy to get information from the companies but now with cutbacks in personnel it’s almost impossible. Just my opinion.