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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.

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

Frequently Asked Questions - Asset Protection

Posted on August 19, 14

What is Asset-Protection Planning? Asset-protection planning is about organizing your affairs so that the risks of possible future claims by third parties are properly managed and minimized. By organizing one’s affairs thoughtfully, a client can significantly reduce exposure to catastrophic claims. Who is a typical asset protection client? The typical asset protection client is a relatively high net-worth individual—oftentimes a business owner or physician—the nature of whose business or profession exposes them to significant, if rare, claims. Will Asset Protection Planning protect me from claims of existing creditors? Generally speaking, no.   You cannot shelter assets from the claims of existing creditors and, indeed, transfers to thwart creditor claims can be undone by the courts. (In the context of a bankruptcy filing, however, the Ohio exemptions do protect a certain amount property—such as equity in your residence up $132,900 and equity in a car up to $3,675.) Asset protection planning is, thus, about sheltering that portion of your assets which present claims and obligations would not reach. What will asset protection planning accomplish? By correctly organizing your affairs and using proper asset protection tools, you can protect a meaningful portion of your family’s assets. What are some simple steps that I can take to protect my assets? Maintaining adequate insurance. The first line of asset defense is to carry adequate insurance.  At a minimum, insure against catastrophic losses. Consider carrying large polices with high deductibles to keep the costs down. For your house, make sure you have signed up for “replacement cost” homeowners insurance, as opposed to a policy that pays you the fair market value. Again, a high deductible might be wise. Clients might also consider carrying a large “personal umbrella” of liability insurance through the home owner’s policy. Think of umbrella coverage as an extension to whatever other insurances you carry.   Segregating assets. Married clients should not maintain assets in joint names. When property is titled jointly, a claim against either spouse may reach the entire assets of the couple. Each spouse should have his or her own individually-titled, financial accounts and vehicle. Where several parcels of real...

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Fracking Bans and Eminent Domain

Posted on June 23, 14

As shale drilling increases across the country, fracking bans do, too.  In New York, for example, more than 50 municipalities have issued moratoriums or even outright bans on fracking.  Many Ohio municipalities have followed suit.  A lawsuit addressing this issue is currently pending before the Ohio Supreme Court: Munroe Falls vs. Beck Energy. Are municipal fracking bans legal? This question is still being settled by Ohio courts.  We all know that municipalities are empowered to issue and enforce zoning laws that restrict the use of one’s property.  But does the power to zone also permit them to ban an industrial process like fracking?  This exact issue is before New York’s top court.  The issue is also present in Ohio: one state law says that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has the exclusive authority to regulate oil and gas drilling, while another Ohio law plainly grants municipalities authority to issue zoning regulations. What effects do fracking bans have on surface owners? Probably none, but the answer depends on the type of property interest affected by the fracking ban.  It is well settled law that zoning restrictions denying a property owner of all economically beneficial use of their land violates the takings clause of the 5th and 14th amendments.  So wouldn’t a zoning restriction that bans fracking deny mineral owners all economically beneficial use of their minerals?  Wouldn’t that be a “taking” in violation of the U.S. Constitution?  Remember that a taking will be found when the zoning restriction denies all economically beneficial use of the land.  A fracking ban would therefore not provide a surface owner a valid takings claim: the surface owner still has many options to put his land to economic use, such as building a house, or planting crops.  But what about a mineral owner? What effects do a fracking bans have on mineral owners? Without surface rights, it would seem that the mineral owner’s only economically viable use of his property is to extract them.  Of course, not all minerals require fracking to be economically produced.  Coal and silver, for example, are mined.  But what if...

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