Unclaimed royalties, Oklahoma State Treasurer

My mother, who has been deceased for 10 years, had owned mineral rights in several Oklahoma counties. Recently I checked with the Oklahoma State Treasurer office of unclaimed property. I discovered that she had some royalties in Stephens county (section 24, 1N, 5W, pooling 446656) in the year 2001. The state auditor said I needed a deed to claim the money. How would I go about getting a deed.

The first place to look would be online at www.okcountyrecords.com

Free to look, costs a small fee to print.

Look under her married name, maiden name or anyone whom she might have received it from. The online data only goes back a certain time frame (depending upon the county), so you may need to go to the paper documents at the courthouse if farther back.

An Affidavit of Death an Heirship will legally convey her ownership to her descendants. This is an easy form that you can fill out and file in the appropriate counties.

An affidavit of heirship might get you leased but it usually takes more proof to claim royalties.

Affidavits of Death DO NOT transfer title. They are only a public advisory as to whom is claiming an interest. As for getting a deed, you will probably need to probate your mother’s estate in the state of Oklahoma. Since your mother is deceased, there is no way for you to obtain title to the property other than a probate.

Good Luck.

Todd: You beat me to it. If the cost of probate is less than the value of the property, it is the only way to go. In some states, filing the will (if there is one) as a muniment of title may suffice. Dunno about Oklahoma.

Also, you may find it difficult (and expensive) to probate an intestate after ten years. Hope she had a will.

In Texas, you are required to probate a will within four years after the death of the testator, but this is not absolute if you can show a reason for the delay.

Hey Jim, how ya doing? Hutch

Sorry guys, I chimed in when I thought I knew something. Always great minds on here.

  1. Often the Oklahoma treasurer can accept an affidavit if the funds they’re holding is $10,000 or less.
  2. Oklahoma has no time limits on probate, even intestate (no will)
  3. Probate is needed to clear title quickly, an affidavit, on the other, must be on file 10 years.

I appreciate the quick response from everyone. The Oklahoma treasurer auditor will only tell me that’s an amount over $100. They will not tell me the exact amount. They said a deed would be the best way to proof ownership. Not knowing the amount of money being held, it would be a big gamble for me to hire a lawyer and probate the estate.

You can go to county clerk too. Look up interest by legal description and get a copy of deed. The clerks are generally very helpful.

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While the information regarding probates and affidavits are helpful, it has been my experience that what the Treasurer wants is proof that your wife was deeded the interest or acquired it by a probate. I’ve been advised by their office that the reason is to make sure that Susan smith who is deceased is the same person that Susan Smith who was deeded the interest. Agree with Mr. Tatum’s advice.

Hutch: Hanging in there. Doing pretty well for an old (89) f@rt. Hope you are doing okay. Are you still in the Houston area? Jim

I’m doing pretty good Jim, 89 that’s impressive! Still down here in Alvin, Texad

Hutch: I am just up the road, Clear Lake city. We otta get together for a beer sometime.

We should I’m in the area often, doctors etc.

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