What happens to the mineral rights on a parcel that had a number of share holders that are now deceased and they have no known heirs to pass the shares on to?
What state would these abandoned minerals rights be in as it makes a difference?
Heirship/ownership is determined by law. I believe it varies with each state so contact an attorney if you think you have a potential unclaimed interest. Yet in general terms it can go something like this (though this may not apply in every state);
A) Mineral owner "John" dies. He is unmarried, had no children, and didn't leave a will.
1. John's minerals would be divided equally between his siblings.
1a. If John's siblings are also deceased, then the siblings share goes to their children.
2. If John had no siblings it goes back yet another generation...
2a. John's minerals would be divided between the descendants of John's aunts & uncles.
3. If John had no aunt and uncles it goes back yet another generation...
How far back can this process go??? I was once contacted by a law firm because the brother of my Great Grandmother had died intestate without spouse or issue. They were determining heirship of this gentleman who was born prior to the Civil War, and died prior to WW2... and in the 1990's they were writing me, a Great Grandson of his sister. So let's all hope our ancestors "reserved all minerals" on every piece of ground they homesteaded.
Mineral Joe said:
What state would these abandoned minerals rights be in as it makes a difference?These rights would be in wyoming and Okla. Does it make any difference as to what counties the rights were held in or do they go by state law? I was told that if their were no heirs that a person could go to court to try to get them although it could be costly to do so and I have an adversion to paying a lawyer unless I really need one.
George, the specific county won't matter, it is the laws of each state which would pertain to those properties. Though you may find OK & WY have different laws on the books. So you need an attorney's opinion, or extensive online reading, to explore what each state's statutes are.
Same situation as to claiming/acquiring minerals where you're not a blood relative. I have no idea how that process would work. I suspect the State itself would gain title to "unclaimed" where no heirs exist. Though I certainly may be wrong about that. Perhaps you can take a stab at it. Undoubtedly it would be a lengthy process. So paying an attorney to determine if it is even possible seems to be the logical first step. Good luck.
In Wyoming it can go to the state after 15 years of abandonment. In Oklahoma can be auctioned off by sheriff after 20 years of abandonment, if producing, royalties are normally held by the operator except for bonus which goes to the state for keeping. Do you own the surface or other reason for inquiry?
Mineral Joe; You are one of my heros. I am not very smart when it comes to computers so I know that you have saved me a lot of time looking. Thanks again George
No Problem your very welcome if I helped, just one of those useless pieces of information one has. There are more details to both that I could provide you with as to all aspects of but that is the jest of it.