Skip to main content

What does it mean to hold royalty interest in suspense?

Inglewood, CA |

My aunt received a letter from an energy co . with a W9 enclosed for her to complete and return to them . In the letter the company stated they discovered she was now the owner of the property gifted to her ( under which they have the royalty interest ) and when they received the W9 from her signed they would release all the funds suspended . Does this mean she is receiving funds from the previous owners , for herself or both ?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

Without knowing the underlying facts your question really cannot be answered.

However, if I hazard a guess, it means that your aunt will be receiving the royalty payments that went unpaid because the energy company did not know who to pay them to after the previous owners death.

Once your aunt returns the W9, so that income can properly be reported to the IRS, the funds will be paid to your aunt and the payment will continue so long as your aunt retains an interest in the property.

I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. I provide legal advice during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for legal advice. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference

Mark as helpful

2 lawyers agree

Posted

This sounds very suspicious to me. Did this come completely out of the blue? Someone discovered she owns property she knew nothing about? This really needs to be investigated to make sure it is real because it could very well be a scam designed to obtain your aunt's social security number for illicit use. Remember the old adage, "if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is."

They say you get what you pay for, and this response is free, so take it for what it is worth. This is my opinion based on very limited information. My opinion should not be taken as legal advice. For true advice, we would require a confidential consultation where I would ask you questions and get your complete story. This is a public forum, so remember, nothing here is confidential. Nor am I your attorney. I do not know who you are and you have not hired me to provide any legal service. To do so would require us to meet and sign written retainer agreement. My responses are intended for general information only.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

2 lawyers agree

3 comments

Michael Raymond Daymude

Michael Raymond Daymude

Posted

You might be right about this one. I agree the aunt should be very cautious about completing the W9 although receiving W9s around tax time is not unusual.

Michael Robert Kirschbaum

Michael Robert Kirschbaum

Posted

Michael, it is the 1099s that we receive in January for tax reporting purposes. The W9s are sent to anyone receiving payment from a third party, throughout the year. They require the payee to provide their SS#. For the niece or nephew: never let your aunt provide her SS# to an unknown source. They need to be fully checked out to make sure this is legitimate.

Michael Raymond Daymude

Michael Raymond Daymude

Posted

I agree, Mr. Kirschbaum re 1099s. However, I have also received W9s after the 1st of the year when a payor wants to send me a 1099 but have not previously requested my tax payer ID or SS#.

Posted

Before providing your aunt's taxpayer identifying information, you should Google the energy company and contact the better business bureau to make sure this is not an identity theft scam. You might also want to ask for documentation showing how she can to own the rights.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

2 lawyers agree

Employment topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics