There are a large number of people who are not aware that they have unclaimed oil and gas royalties. Every individual state government is charged with the responsibility of maintaining and administering a bank account that contains all types of unclaimed funds for which the ownership is questionable or the owners cannot be found. There is not only a few dollars lying around either – we are talking about millions of dollars in oil and gas royalties that have been unclaimed.
Why Is the Money Unclaimed? Where Did it Come From?
There are some statutes which allow royalty funds that have been suspended to be handed over to the state government once a certain period of time has passed. The mining companies give up administrative responsibilities of the oil and gas royalties after anywhere between three and ten years, depending on which state you are in. Once the responsibility for the unclaimed funds has been transferred to the state, any funds become part of the state’s unclaimed property.
There are numerous different reasons why millions of dollars in unclaimed money ends up in the unclaimed property fund. Among the most common reasons for this to happen is a minor issue with the title, simple misspellings in names, and incorrect or invalid mailing addresses. Along with unclaimed oil and gas royalties, others such as stock dividends, insurance dividends, and various types of utility company deposits can be found as well.
How to Check if You Have Oil and Gas Royalties Due to You
With all of the advances in technology it is quick and simple to check your company name or your own name to see if you are owed any unclaimed royalty funds. Each state has their own unclaimed property fund so you will have to check with the offices of any states that you may have resided in. If you find that funds do exist, the next stop is to contact your state agency and begin the process of having the money returned to you. The process is not too burdensome, but you may have to jump through some hoops to get things moving. The potential payoff is definitely worth your time however.
The paperwork that you will be required to fill out can sometimes be confusing for laypersons. One little error could well result in extra delays getting the funds back into your bank account. If you are uncertain about how to fill out paperwork to claim oil and gas royalties, it is recommended that you retain the services of a qualified attorney. They are highly skilled with the ins and outs of the industry, and they know how to navigate all of the potential problem areas so that you get paid as soon as possible.