Johnson & Johnson Law Firm
Legal matters can spring up unexpectedly throughout our lives. Luckily, the attorneys in the Canfield, Ohio law office of Johnson & Johnson provide sound legal guidance to a breadth of individuals, at varying stages of life. Have recent headlines stirred your thoughts about a living will or trust? Are you thinking about buying or selling your home or business property? Have you been approached by a oil and gas company about drilling on your land? At Johnson & Johnson our local attorneys are capable of providing legal assistance to residents throughout Ohio in all matters relating to:
- Estate Planning – creating wills, living wills, revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts, powers of attorney, medicaid planning and other tools.
- Probate – full and partial estate administration, estate inventories, estate valuations and appraisals.
- Real Estate – preparing deeds, purchase and sale agreements, title opinions.
- Business Formation and Organization – Limited Liability Companies (LLC), Partnerships, Corporations, Charitable organizations, litigation.
- Oil and Gas – leases, operating agreements, royalty planning, purchase and sale of mineral rights, litigation.
Johnson & Johnson has been family owned and operated since our founding in 1921. Our attorneys are experienced, and continue to learn as we aim to serve the legal needs of the community, of which we have been a significant part of for more than 90 years. From preparing for a more secure future to the resolution of legal crises that affect you today, a skilled Youngstown, Ohio lawyer will provide your case with the attention and respect it deserves.
Statistics suggest that 75% of landowners will sign the pipeline agreements and negotiate a settlement without getting an attorney involved. The pipeline companies hope that you make that mistake. Be smarter than the 75%– learn about how you can protect your bottom line and your property by joining a landowner group.
Johnson & Johnson has recently teamed up with attorneys Steve Davis and Craig Vandervoort, also known as the Ohio Pipeline Attorneys. Steve, Craig and Molly are currently forming pipeline groups for both the ET Rover and Leach Xpress pipelines. We use our own tried-and-true method of individual representation within a group setting. We believe this gives our clients the best of both worlds.
I sold my property but did not reserve the mineral rights. Why am I still receiving royalty checks? If you did not reserve mineral rights when you sold your property, you are almost certainly not entitled to royalty checks anymore. The reason the oil and gas company keeps sending them is simple: they don’t know that the property has been sold. Somebody has to tell them. Just because they keep sending checks does not mean that you are entitled to them. Typically the new owner takes this responsibility upon themselves because they want to start receiving royalty checks. Sometimes, however, they forget. As the former owner, you want to get this cleaned up so that the company doesn’t continue to report this income under your name to the IRS. If you are still receiving royalty checks and you don’t think you are entitled to them, you need to notify the oil and gas company. It’s best to do it in writing. Send a letter to the address shown on your royalty check that states that you have sold the property. Include a copy of the deed if you have one. Note that this is NOT enough to get them to issue the checks to the new owner. The new owner will still need to contact the company and provide their contact information and social security number (see this article for details). Typically a company will escrow the royalty checks until the new owner gives them all of the pertinent information. In any event, the company should stop sending you checks that you are not entitled to. You can also write a letter to the new owner and give them the company’s address. That may jog their memory into getting their information to the company. If you are unsure about whether you are entitled to royalties, or if you are having trouble dealing with the oil and gas company, please give us a call.Read More
I bought property with an existing lease on it. What do I do? How do I get an oil and gas company to update their records and add me as the current owner? Most oil and gas leases (even really old ones) contain some variation of this phrase: “No change of ownership shall be binding on the Lessee until it is duly notified.” This is legalese for: the oil and gas company will keep paying the old owner until the new owner speaks up and shows ownership. When you think about it, this makes sense: oil and gas companies cannot be responsible for watching every courthouse in the state to see when a property changes hands. Instead they put the burden on the Lessor (landowner/mineral owner) to let them know when they should make a change to their payment structure. Here’s what you need to do: 1) Find the name of the oil and gas company by looking at the sign listed on the well itself, or by searching for your property on the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website (Here). 2) Do a quick internet search to track down their address. 3) Write them a letter telling them that you recently purchased property and would like them to update their records. 4) Include a copy of your deed. They need this to ensure that you got the mineral rights when you bought the property. 5) Include an IRS form W-9 with your social security number. You can print one Here. Royalty income is taxable. If you fail to give your SSN the company will withhold taxes from your royalty checks. 6) Make sure to include your contact information, including a phone number. 7) Keep a copy of everything you send. Depending on the size of the company, you may also want to follow up with a phone call approximately two weeks after your letter is mailed. Generally speaking, the bigger the company, the slower they will be to respond. If you are able to get someone on the phone, make sure to ask when you should receive a check...Read More