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Has anyone ever claimed "unclaimed funds?'

rnoldh

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I was the executor of an uncle's estate back in 1997.

It was medium size and I thought completely closed by now.

He was a lifetime oil patch worker and had some minor overrides and interests.

Recently, I've received a lot of computer generated letters from "unclaimed assets finding firms".

They say that he had a couple of interests in wells that had been worthless but now there are distributions for 2007.

I'm not talking big money. There are a couple of claims that are about a $1,000 each. My guess is that they were worthless, but in the short window that oil shot up to $147 a barrel, there were some distributions from stripper wells that had been shut in.

$2,000 is definitely enough to screw with but not enough to get a lawyer involved IMO.These firms that shotgun letters to people (based on database searches I think) I would think want a % to process and claim the funds. I would guess about 20-25%. I would rather not pay that fee if not necessary.

My question. Has anyone ever been an executor and claimed funds due to an estate ( years later )? I'm pretty sure these are royalty payments that were worthless when oil was below $147 , and are worthless now. But these days, why not collect these uncollected funds?

BTW: This is in Houston, Tx. and the funds are due from medium to large size energy companies. I'm pretty sure they tried to pay the partial leaseholder ( my uncle ), but when the funds were returned they went into some sort of State of Texas unclaimed property escrow account.

Would you use one of the "services" or try to deal directly with the state?
 

Concordia

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Originally Posted by rnoldh
I was the executor of an uncle's estate back in 1997.

It was medium size and I thought completely closed by now.

He was a lifetime oil patch worker and had some minor overrides and interests.

Recently, I've received a lot of computer generated letters from "unclaimed assets finding firms".

They say that he had a couple of interests in wells that had been worthless but now there are distributions for 2007.

I'm not talking big money. There are a couple of claims that are about a $1,000 each. My guess is that they were worthless, but in the short window that oil shot up to $147 a barrel, there were some distributions from stripper wells that had been shut in.

$2,000 is definitely enough to screw with but not enough to get a lawyer involved IMO.These firms that shotgun letters to people (based on database searches I think) I would think want a % to process and claim the funds. I would guess about 20-25%. I would rather not pay that fee if not necessary.

My question. Has anyone ever been an executor and claimed funds due to an estate ( years later )? I'm pretty sure these are royalty payments that were worthless when oil was below $147 , and are worthless now. But these days, why not collect these uncollected funds?

BTW: This is in Houston, Tx. and the funds are due from medium to large size energy companies. I'm pretty sure they tried to pay the partial leaseholder ( my uncle ), but when the funds were returned they went into some sort of State of Texas unclaimed property escrow account.

Would you use one of the "services" or try to deal directly with the state?



I had one of those once. I think it was an uncashed tax refund or something like that. As soon as we knew the amount and approximate vintage, it wasn't too hard to go to the state department that handles those things. By now, you might even be able to get in through the web.
 

AintDatRite

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Originally Posted by rnoldh
Would you use one of the "services" or try to deal directly with the state?

Absolutely deal with the state - its VERY simple. I have claimed various assets (from my parents estate and brothers' estates) over the last few years.. nothing to it other than filing a few forms. IF you deal with an 'agency', depending upon your state laws, they can charge you HALF of the amount as a 'finders fee'.

Your state treasurer would be responsible for the unclaimed property. You can check to see if you have unclaimed property with your state by contacting your state treasurer's office or, in any state, with this link (and its free). Some states only post property if its over $50 or $100 in value:

National Assn of Unclaimed Property Administrators -- from the National Association of State Treasurers.
 

rnoldh

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Thank You both!

Monday AM, I'll be calling the state comptroller in Austin, Tx.
 

AintDatRite

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Originally Posted by rnoldh
Thank You both!

Monday AM, I'll be calling the state comptroller in Austin, Tx.


You can use that link I provided to search online.. first click on Texas on the map and then click the 'seach' button near the top of the page (below the first paragraph). They would prefer you do your own search online - thats why they dump their data into a database. If you call, you are limited to only 3 name searches - because it takes up their time when you could do it yourself.

If the property is listed on the search results, it should provide a link to the necessary paperwork, with full instructions, to file for the property.
 

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