Unclaimed oil royalties


My husband’s father passed away about 10 yrs ago and left him a ton of oil royalties in his will. His mother is in charge of the royalties until she can transfer over to my husband , but she hasn’t yet. She keeps putting it off saying there is a box filled with them and she has nowhere to start and is too depressed to deal with the issue. We can see the unclaimed oil royalties online. What do we need to do to get the royalties transferred over?


Sometimes. it is just too overwhelming when a job looks so large. The first thing to do is find the legal paperwork. If there was a will, was it probated? If not, get it done. You said she was “in charge”. Is she the executor? Does she have legal help? Is she able to do it if she just gets a bit of advice? Or is she a remainderman? That means she gets the royalties as long as she is alive and then they pass to your husband. If the will was probated already, then a huge step is done. Was there an evaluation of the properties so a basis can be calculated? You will want that step up value to be determined. Does the will have a list of the properties? Producing and non producing? Is it just royalties or is it mineral rights? They can be different. Mineral rights includes royalties. Royalties may not include mineral rights as they are rghts to a particular well or unit.

Get into that box and make a simple list of what is in there. Knowing what is in there is a great place to start. You did not mention a state, but there are various remedies according to state. If the will is probated, you may be able to contact the Treasurer’s office unclaimed funds department and ask them what they require. You also need to contact each of the operators of the well and ask what they require. Hope this gets you started. Take a deep breath. You can do it. It takes time, but each step accomplished is a learning opportunity and empowering.


Thank you, yes she is the executor, says she will not file his will. She has a sister that was willing to go over and she said it was too much and to get legal help. Mineral royalties are being held and accumulating and some say current production payment to her and we are not sure what’s going on, is she collecting from them? After she told him he will be getting all of the royalties. Thank you for this information. Yes it is a learning process and any help or info is appreciative.


So important to file the will. There are time limits in certain states and you may missing out on royalties. It would be wise to contact an attorney in the state where the dad died and get legal advice. You may have to force the issue, especially if the executor is unwilling or incapable of doing it properly. Your husband may have other properties that are not currently producing, but might be in the future. You need to get everything settled properly. Were the estate taxes paid on time? Another issue that failure to file and get things settled can cause HUGE fines with the IRS. Two of my relatives had issue with that.


There are several sites where you can search for information for a fairly low fee or free. If you know the states and counties and post them, folks can tell you those sites.