How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dwayne B. Your Own Question

Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 27091
Experience:  Estate Law Expert
11068102
Type Your Estate Law Question Here...
Dwayne B. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

The State of Alabama is holding "unclaimed" money paid in by

Resolved Question:

The State of Alabama is holding "unclaimed" money paid in by El Paso Oil & Gas in the name of my paternal grandfather. These monies were paid in years after my grandfather's death with no obvious attempt (only claims) to find the rightful owner of the royalites. El Paso O&G was bought by Quantum Resources. After my dad's recent passing, extended family in Louisiana received a letter looking for the rightful owner. It made it's way to us (the children). We contacted Quantum and were told that the monies were paid to the State of Alabama treasury. It should be noted that Quantum paid our dad and now us royalties on other properties with no issues and is now paying us current royalties on the lease in question here. We filed a claim with the state of Alabama treasury and provided my grandfathers' and fathers' death certificates, judement of possession, a letter from Quantum acknowleding that the money was rightfully ours - every document and proof of ownership they outlined on their claim form. We promptly received a letter of denial saying that we would need a judge to appoint us executer's of my grandfather's will ?????? Seriously and a letter from El Paso O&G acknowledging that the money is ours. We did provide the letter from the company that bought El Paso O&G. They are playing games. What recourse do we have?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 11 months ago.

Dwayne B. :

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

Dwayne B. :

Are you asking what you need to do to get the monies being held?

Dwayne B. :

It looks like the chat function may be acting up. I am going to exit and see if it fixes the problem. I will still be online and on the website so when you reply I will see it and reenter Chat.

Customer:

Yes. Basically. I really don't believe we should be required to request that a judge made us executers of my grandfathers will when we can show a chain of proof of ownership - from him to my dad (exclusivly) to us. I've checked their website to try to find this as a "law" or "rule" and it doesn't appear anywhere. I do worry about the time limit on the claim - which has not been mentioned. The only reason it has been this long - my grandfather died in 1987 and the royalties were paid from 2006 to present - we contacted them as soon as we were made aware.

Dwayne B. :

Can you see what I am typing now?

Customer:

I can see it.

Dwayne B. :

Great.

Dwayne B. :

Let me see if I can explain why they are saying that.

Dwayne B. :

The issue here is that the State has no idea who the "rightful heirs" to your grandfather's property are. By being appointed as executors it allows the State to pay the money to the Estate and then for the court to determine who it should belong to.

Customer:

The rightful heir to my grandfather's property was my father. We showed the judement of possession to my father and then my father's judegement of possession to us. We also have a copy of both willls - my grandfather's will showing that my dad was only heir. I don't understand why that isn't good enough.

Dwayne B. :

Without some type of probate the funds don't actually belong to the heirs, they belong to The Estate.

Customer:

Doesn't the judgement of possession come from the probate court.

Dwayne B. :

A will is just a piece of paper until a court has admitted it to probate and made a finding that it was actually the will of the deceased.

Dwayne B. :

A judgment of possession can come from a number of courts.

Dwayne B. :

How was this one obtained?

Customer:

Both were obtained from a probate court.

Dwayne B. :

From a probate court in Alabama?

Customer:

No. We don't even understand how Alabama got involved. The land is in Louisiana. My grandfather never lived in Alabama. The only thing we can think is that El Paso Production Company's office was there.

Customer:

The State of Alabama did not have an address for my grandfather. They didn't even have an address for the company - just the city and state.

Dwayne B. :

That is the most likely reason.

Dwayne B. :

What state court issued the judgment of possession?

Customer:

Both my grandfather and father's will's were probated in both Texas and Louisiana. I don't have the Judgement's with me so I'm really not sure.

Dwayne B. :

And were they issued in both your father's and grandfather's probates?

Customer:

Yes.

Dwayne B. :

The State of Alabama should recognize the orders of the probate court due to what is known as "full faith and credit". However, if they are refusing to then the next step if you don't want to open a probate there (which really shouldn't be necessary) is to file the orders with the probate court and ask that the court recognize them as "foreign judgments" and then enter an order officially recognizing them. It is known as "domesticating a judgment".

Customer:

Now that's what I'm talking about. Is this something we can do with legal forms or do we have to hire a lawyer?

Dwayne B. :

I don't know of any forms available anywhere for that so you probably want to hire a lawyer.

Customer:

No offense. Love lawyers. But we have no idea how much money is due to us. It'd be silly to spend a dollar to get 10 cents.

Dwayne B. :

It is relatively simple for an attorney to do and shouldn't cost a bunch.

Dwayne B. :

I certainly understand that.

Customer:

Ok. Thank you for that.

Dwayne B. :

You could possibly sue the company that deposited the money with the state for the attorney's fees it will cost under the theory that not only did they not really try and find who it goes to but deposited the money with a state that forced you to incur additional fees and which they knew wasn;t really the proper sttae.

Dwayne B. :

If you have a local lawyer they could write them a letter and threaten to do that if the company doesn't help resolve the issue by having their own lawyers do the work.

Dwayne B. :

I'm not saying it would work but it would be worth a shot.

Customer:

That's an option. I'm going to try to find out when Quantum bought the rights. Apparently they didn't buy El Paso Production - just the rights to this lease. That's all I needed, really. You've given me plenty of information to work with. I'm satisfied. Thank you.

Dwayne B. :

You're very welcome. I hope it works out well for y'all. I'll exit now to assist others if you don't have anything else.

Dwayne B. :

Best wishes to you on this and please don't forget to leave a Positive Rating (of course I’d suggest Excellent!) so I get credit for my work. Also, I’d ask you to consider issuing a high rating (9-10) when you receive your customer satisfaction survey as that ensures I can continue to assist people in this category.

Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 27091
Experience: Estate Law Expert
Dwayne B. and 3 other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you very much for the Positive Rating. Please come back and visit us if you have any new questions and feel free to ask for me by placing “FOR DWAYNE B” in the subject line or as the first words of your question and I will pick up as soon as I see it.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • My husband has been driving me insane with questions regarding estate issues since his mother died. I'm not a lawyer! Thanks to JustAnswer, I was able to calm his concerns. Loretta T Illinois
< Last | Next >
  • My husband has been driving me insane with questions regarding estate issues since his mother died. I'm not a lawyer! Thanks to JustAnswer, I was able to calm his concerns. Loretta T Illinois
  • Thanks Adam!! - A very direct and understandable response - you have been a great help! Happy Customer Ellicott City, MD
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Thomas McJD

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    3076
    Wills, Trusts, Probate & other Estate Matters
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MC/mclemorelawyer/2011-9-21_193631_IMGP8718Version2.64x64.jpg Thomas McJD's Avatar

    Thomas McJD

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    3076
    Wills, Trusts, Probate & other Estate Matters
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NY/nyclawyer/2012-6-7_22011_photo66139201112041.64x64.jpg Infolawyer's Avatar

    Infolawyer

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    3781
    Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/barristerinky/2012-6-10_22423_office.64x64.jpg Barrister's Avatar

    Barrister

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2188
    13 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/rayanswers/2012-6-7_23346_Untitled1.64x64.jpg RayAnswers's Avatar

    RayAnswers

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1484
    Texas lawyer for 29 years in Estate law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RO/RobertJDFL/2012-6-6_175352_7538220120606.64x64.jpg RobertJDFL's Avatar

    RobertJDFL

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1226
    Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PH/philip.simmons/2012-6-7_161915_BIGPhilipSimmons.64x64.jpg P. Simmons's Avatar

    P. Simmons

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    770
    12+ yrs. of experience including estate law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    754
    Fully licensed attorney in Texas in private practice.