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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    10

    Unhappy Inherited Mineral Rights

    Does a gas company have legal obligation to find all living heirs when paying dividends?

    Situtation in brief, my 5 uncles have decided they alone will receive money from the leasing and drilling of my grandfathers mineral rights. (that by the way never went through probate). Since my mother (my uncles sister) has passed away they do not feel tha I have a right to my mothers part of the mineral rights. I fear if I do not act time will run out on any legal action that I can take as they have hidden this for some time now. Do you know how I can find out how much has been paid or who is drilling? Is it fraud for my uncles to take this money knowing their are other living heirs? Any information or direction is greatly appreciated.

    God Bless.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,656

    Default Re: Inherited Mineral Rights

    Who is the title owner? In what state?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Inherited Mineral Rights

    Both my grandfather and great grandfather had the same name. The mineral rights were never probated or changed when my great grandfather died, they were merely passed down to my grandfather who has the same name. No probate on either my grandfather or great grandfathers property was done. The mineral rights were never deeded into anyone elses name. The still remain in my grandfather (actually my great grandfathers name). My grandfather had no will when he died. His estate was split between his children evenly.(suppose to have been evenly but thats a whole different issue).

    Bare with me, here is where it gets interesting. My uncles work for the drilling companie(s) that are doing the drilling. One is in regional mgmt and another local mgmt. I do not know if this will make the process more difficult or not. But, they know the ins and outs of the business.

    Another fact is that my mother was a sibling. They cannot deny this fact. They came to own the mineral rights when my grandfather died, just as I did. All property was to be split evenly. There are other heirs this has been hidden from. Any direction or help you can give me is appreciated. This is truly a David and Golliath situation. Thank you in advance

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Inherited Mineral Rights

    Sorry, the state is Oklahoma...thanks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,656

    Default Re: Inherited Mineral Rights

    You're stating that your grandfather never even had title conveyed to him - he just assumed the role of owner after your great-grandfather's death, and nobody ever questioned that because they had the same name?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Inherited Mineral Rights

    Thats it! Exactly!

    There was no one to contest it until now. My family lives in a very rural community and like to do things there own way. They decided how the dividends from the drilling or mineral rights would be divided. Not legally but there way. They work for the drilling companies and know the ins and outs of the business. I have been away for years.

    Is there a statute of limitations on this? My grandfathre died 5 years ago and I am just now finding out they leased the mineral rights and are getting large sums of money, I was never contacted. I recently moved back into the state and its been kept very hush hush. I can only wonder if this is legally fraud? and also, if the gas company has legal obligation to find all heirs?

    Thank you for your help and direction.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,656

    Default Re: Inherited Mineral Rights

    This is a more complicated situation than you may realize, given that the question of your grandfather's right to the property has to be resolved before you even get to the question of who has inheritance rights from your grandfather's estate.

    I don't think you'll be able to unravel this without the help of a good probate lawyer.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Inherited Mineral Rights

    At some point in time everything will need to be unraveled. You can start the ball rolling by filing to be the personal representative of your grandfather's estate but don't expect anyone to be happy with you. Have you actually checked with the court to be sure his estate was not probated? You need to do this and then get anything on file at the registrar of deeds to take to the attorney.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Inherited Mineral Rights

    Yes, I am sure his estate wasn't probated. Probating it will most likely upset the uncles even more as they didn't split the other inheritance equally. It does get very complicated. Rumors, which under normal circumstances mean absolutely nothing to me, have surfaced that some court records were taken to try and conseal some of this. One of the documents that is rumored missing is a map showing the sections of mineral rights that are being drilled on. I am sure their are back up records. I wanted to solve this by all heirs getting their fair share of the mineral right dividends. What I am finding is it may be much more difficult and complicated. I just don't see any other option but to hire an attorney to figure all this out. Once presented with the facts I couldn't imagine how the uncles would get around this other than some kind of statute of limitation. But since, they kept it a secret, I don't know how that would hold up either. Thank you for any advice.. This is all new to me.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    10

    Question Re: Inherited Mineral Rights

    So the story now twist...Apparently on my grandfathers death bed, my uncles got him to sign over the mineral rights to them. Still no will, not probated, and the mineral rights are actually in my great grandfathers name which happens to be the same as my grandfathers. Again my grandfather just assumed ownership.

    Is this legal...?

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