Ohio Estate Planning Gas and Oil Law Estate Planning Services Estate Planning Gas and Oil Legal Matters

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.

ET Rover and Leach Xpress Pipelines

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.

Services

Asset Protection

Asset protection is about organizing your affairs so that risks of future claims by third parties are reasonably dealt with. It is also about minimizing a family's exposure to such risks by dispersing ownership of assets within the family, by maintaining appropriate insurance coverage, by using appropriate business structures, and by thinking about the consequences of a health or business reversal resulting in lost income. Asset protection techniques are not about avoiding paying existing bills or existing legitimate claims. Our law office has been counseling clients in asset protection measures for many years. Among the many vehicles we have historically employed to help clients protect their hard-earned assets from litigious creditors are Limited Liability Companies, Irrevocable Trusts, Asset Segregation, ensuring clients are adequately insured, and maximizing ERISA-qualified retirement plans. Recently, Ohio has passed legislation authorizing a more sophisticated asset protection vehicle, called a Legacy Trust. These trusts, when properly employed, are invulnerable to the claims of creditors and can provide for a safety net for a portion of a client's assets. Our firm is well versed in the proper employment of Ohio Legacy Trusts, and can help create a safety net for a client and their loved ones.

Pipeline Law

Our attorneys regularly review pipeline agreements. They understand that pipelines will be an essential building block for the development of Ohio's vast oil and gas resources. Pipeline agreements are different than simple oil and gas leases. In fact, most pipeline agreements continue to exist long after oil or gas flows through them. As a result, these pipeline easements should be approached with care to maximize the benefit of the landowner who willingly provides the right of way. Everyone's land is valuable, and everyone's land is different, too. We know how to negotiate pipeline agreements that meet the specific needs of your land. The lawyers at Johnson & Johnson may also obtain more favorable terms for pipeline right of way agreements.

Oil and Gas Law

Oil and gas leases should be reviewed by an attorney. At Johnson & Johnson, located in Canfield, Ohio, we represent farmers and land owners who have been approached by oil and gas producers to utilize their land for purposes of producing oil and gas. Our Ohio oil and gas law attorneys are skilled at reviewing and negotiating the terms of leases to ensure that your rights are protected. Whether you’re a landowner seeking legal advice about a lease, a farmer whose oil and gas lease has been violated, or a producer looking to draft a turnkey drilling contract, our experienced team can assist you. We review oil and gas leases from all counties in Ohio, including Mahoning, Trumbull, Portage, Geauga, Columbiana, Stark, Medina, Wayne, Belmont, Holmes, Ashland, Knox, Muskingum, Carrol, Monroe, Coshocton, Tuscarawas, Guernsey, Noble, Jefferson and Harrison counties.

Estate Planning and Probate

Our lawyers have decades of estate planning experience. The attorneys at Johnson & Johnson work with Probate Courts across the state to administer estates. Our firm also helps prepare individuals for legal issues that might present themselves at the end of one's life. We accomplish this through creation of Living Wills, Last Wills and Testaments, Financial Power of Attorney documents, as well as Healthcare Power of Attorney documents and Trusts. We aim to situate an individual's affairs such that the Probate court need not become involved. Our experience speaks for itself: Atty. Nils P. Johnson, Jr. has been certified by the Ohio State Bar Association as being a Probate, Trust and Estate Planning Specialist.

Business Formation and Contracts

At the law firm of Johnson & Johnson, you’ll find knowledgeable Youngstown business law attorneys dedicated to developing a solid foundation upon which to build your business. We understand that starting a business involves great personal risk, which is why our lawyers aim to provide effective legal support for the formation of your business. Our skilled Ohio business lawyers have experience with partnerships, incorporations, contracts, purchase agreements and dissolutions. Additionally, we have particular understanding of how business law relates to oil and gas law.

Elder Law

Your loved ones deserve the best elder care available. Our firm is dedicated to providing families with expert advice in all aspects of the law and encourages families to plan for that time when nursing care may be necessary. We are able to explain the law to you as simply as possible, and help you determine possible Medicaid eligibility. Call us today if you'd like to schedule an appointment to discuss Medicaid planning. Our attorneys are familiar with the spend-down provisions of Medicaid, and can help you become Medicaid eligible.

Recent Articles

Obtaining Unexpected Profits from Ohio's Dormant Minera...

Posted on February 26, 15

Overview Ohio’s dormant minerals act (DMA) is designed to rejuvenate abandoned oil and gas reservations by granting them to the surface owner (a more detailed explanation of the DMA can be found here). A basic DMA process with one oil and gas holder: In a very basic scenario, the Surface Owner notifies the oil and gas Holder that their rights will be declared abandoned in 60 days.  In order to retain their interests, the Holder must record a claim form prior to the 60th day.  A timely filed claim form shuts down the whole process: the Surface Owner cannot re-capture the Holder’s interests. A complex DMA process with several oil and gas holders: In a more typical scenario, there are several oil and gas Holders, frequently the heirs to a very old reservation.  Here, the Surface Owner notifies all of the Holders that their rights will be declared abandoned in 60 days.  The Holders can preserve their interests by filing a claim form prior to the 60th day, just like described above.  However, not each Holder must file a claim form.  A single claim form filed by a single Holder preserves all of the rights of the other Holders.  Unexpected Benefits to the Mineral Holder That a single claim form preserves the rights of all Holders presents a tall hurdle for the Surface Owner faced with several Holders.  It also presents a real opportunity for an individual Holder if all other Holders don’t timely file a claim form. In this situation, the individual Holder might strike a deal with the Surface Owner:  the Holder will agree to not file a claim form in exchange for a percentage of the rights Surface Owner obtains at the conclusion of the DMA process. Example: Surface Owner owns 100 acres of property.  The property is subject to a one-half mineral reservation (or 50 acres) made many years ago.  Surface Owner identifies 10 Holders (heirs) to the one-half reservation, with each Holder entitled to 5 acres (50 acres / 10 Holders).  Surface Owner cannot identify the mailing addresses for any of the 10 Holders (this is...

Read More

Oil and Gas Lease Ownership Challenges

Posted on January 08, 15

Below are the materials the National Business Institute asked me to prepare for a seminar on Oil and Gas law. LEASE / OWNERSHIP CHALLENGES, DISPUTES AND NEGOTIATIONS A.  Recent case law and litigation trends Though Ohio was one of the earliest states to have commercial production of oil and gas, surprisingly, it has not developed much of a body of case law in the field of oil and gas.  Frequently, the laws of other states must be reviewed to find cases on point – Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana seem to have the most published opinions concerning oil and gas. The advent of the Utica shale has changed things.  Numerous oil and gas cases have been filed in Ohio over the last several years and they are making their way through various levels of appeals.  Within the next 10 years or so, it can be expected that Ohio’s case law in the field of oil and gas will have expanded considerably.  Some of the recent cases in the pipeline are discussed below. 1.  Dormant minerals cases In many oil and gas producing states (e.g., Texas), when a mineral severance is made, it is permanent.  If rancher Jones reserves the oil and gas rights on 1,000 acres, that interest remains in his name unless he assigns it of record.  It is not unusual, particularly where a mineral interest is inactive (i.e., not generating any income), that the executor of party who dies owning mineral rights is unaware of the asset.  When this occurs, things can get a bit complicated. Assume rancher Jones reserves the oil and gas rights on 1,000 acres in 1900 and dies in 1920.  No mention of the asset is made in his probate estate.  Rancher Jones is survived by his wife and five children.  By 1999, when drilling interest has heated back up in the area, there are several generations of Jones’ who have a claim to the oil and gas rights that are still titled in rancher Jones.  An oil and gas company interested in drilling on that 1,000 acres must (an often will) go to great...

Read More