Unclaimed royalty



I’ve been looking around on the unclaimed royalty sites that the states have. I’ve found that a relative (I am not a direct descendant; but this individual has no direct descendants. he is an uncle) has unclaimed royalties in a number of states. how do I determine who these royalties should rightly go to? I supposed it depends on whether he had a will or died intestate. for purposes of this question, let’s assume he died intestate (I’ll see if I can get a copy of the will).

second question - if the leases are still paying, how would one go about having royalties deeded to the proper relatives?

thank you,


I beleave the first thing is you have some leg work or getting someone to look all up for you. But that said the first thing you need to do is make a spread sheet out with all known claimed & unclaimed royalties with each state there in. Then find out the laws in every state as every states laws on claimed & unclaimed royalties are different. then go from there as to weather the work and cost justifies the means (end).


Great question:

  1. Look to a Will or Trust, if none is found then it will depend upon the intestacy laws of the state. Generally, they look down for descendants, if none are found the inquiry goes up to the parents. If they are dead, then it goes to siblings in equal shares. If a sibling is dead, that sibling’s share goes to that child, and so on. Oklahoma’s intestacy statute is found here. Click to read: Richard Winblad



Cliff - appreciate the comments. spreadsheet created, so I do know the numbers for Texas.

Richard - so I’ve obtained the will. the will left everything to his wife. in the probate process, royalties were not mentioned, only some shared of stock. the wife passed 2 years later. they had 4 kids, some of which were adopted. looks like the wife did not know about the royalties?? odd. anyway - I’m thinking next step is to find the wife’s will?? any more comments given the rather odd issue of wife not knowing about the royalties?

thanks guys!


David: If the wife wasn’t getting checks it is not surprising that she was unaware of the royalty. I would check unclaimed property under mom & dad’s name. If a Will is not found a probate is still possible but property would pass under intestacy. Adopted children, unless disinherited in the Will, would take a share as well. Generally, if a Will is admitted to probate in one state and there is an order determining heirship, a probate in the next state can be done by an ancillary petition. In Oklahoma the ancillary petition that is extremely quick.