Where to look for unknown hiers

I had a land search and title opinion done on a property in Texas. I do have an interest in the mineral rights through an inheritance from my dad that passed from his mom and so on. The royalties were put in suspense because family members died intestate. Well,the affidavit and title opinion has been done. I know that Humble Oil put it in suspense 1947 and it’s been that way to date. Exxon has it now. How do I find the money,

Linda: if the affidavit you mention is an affidavit of heirship, be sure it is filed in the deed records of the county where the minerals are located. Then you can go to the GIS maps on the Texas Railroad Commission website, locate your property and locate the wells on your property and the operators of those wells. The Railroad Commission maintains a list of forms called P-5s that show contact information for all operators. You can send the operator a copy of the file-marked affidavit, your title opinion and a W-9 and request they pay you your royalties.

Thank you so much for the information. There is more to it. Chevron is operating on the property now. We have given them our tittle opinion and waiting to hear back from them. But Humble now Exxon were operating on it in 1947, so who do we need to contact regarding the royalties that Humble oil received.

If multiple family members died intestate, you will need an affidavit for each deceased family member. You should contact Exxon as well as the texas unclaimed property fund. Depending on facts, an affidavit of heirship may not be sufficient and you will then need judicial determination of heirships.

Linda: in Texas, it is up to a mineral owner to make sure their ownership is properly reflected in the deed records. If it is not, the oil company usually will not be liable for royalties prior to the time you have filed correct title documents. There may be exceptions to this and you should consider having an oil and gas attorney review your situation to see if any of the exceptions apply. Also, as has been said, check the Texas Comptroller’s unclaimed property website under the names of each of your ancestors to see if there are unclaimed royalties in any of their names.

Linda: I should add that in most cases, if an oil company is liable for past royalties, you can only go back 4 years due to the Texas statute of limitations. Again, there are a number of court-created exceptions to this, and an oil and gas attorney can review the facts of your situation and see if any of the exceptions apply.

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Linda, To find the money in suspense, go to MissingMoney.com and enter each deceased person’s name as well as your own. If any of those names come up, then you will need to go through the holding state’s Unclaimed Property to receive it. You will need copies of Wills and Affidavits of Heirship to prove why the proceeds should be distributed to you. If one of the deceased lived in a state not participating in the MissingMoney site, then you will need to go to that state’s Unclaimed Property directly. Receiving money from any Unclaimed Property division is not a quick process, so expect to use patience!

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