Category Archives: Estate Planning

February 3, 2017 Weekly Round Up

I’m not quite sure how we are already a month into 2017, but here we are.  In the last couple of weeks I have traveled to speak at Extension meetings in Dumas and Lubbock.  Welcome to those of you joining from those meetings! Here are some of the ag law stories in the news. *10 Texas oil and gas cases to watch.  Chris Halgren compiled a list of 10 Texas Supreme Court cases dealing with oil and gas law worth watching in 2017.  His post provides a short… Read More →

January 20, 2017 Weekly Round Up

Right-to-farm Supreme Court arguments heard at Colony High School This week I traveled to Lockney for the Caprock Crops Conference.  As usual, this was a great conference.  Thanks to Caitlin and Cristen for inviting me to present.  To those of you joining from that meeting, welcome!  Here are some at law stories in the news this week. * US Supreme Court will hear WOTUS dispute over jurisdiction, no merits to be considered.  The United States Supreme Court has granted certiorari in a dispute involving where challenges to the… Read More →

January 13, 2017 Weekly Round Up

Hello!  I am excited to be back in the saddle with Weekly Round Up posts.  I appreciate all of your kind words and well wishes while I was off on maternity leave to welcome home our daughter, Harper. There is sure no shortage of ag law news to report on this week.  Here are some of the big stories. * Texas producers reject Indemnity Fund assessment.  The Texas Department of Agriculture announced that recent voting on whether to create an assessment on grain sales to fund a sort of… Read More →

Reminder: Check Your Beneficiaries!

A Dallas Court of Appeals decision offers an important reminder for everyone to consider…be sure to check your beneficiaries designated to receive payment upon death for items like life insurance policies, pensions, or Transfer on Death accounts.  Failure to do so can lead to unintended and unfair consequences for the loved ones left behind. Switzer v. Vaughan In this case, a dispute arose when David Eric Switzer passed away in 2014.  From 2007 to 2009, Eric dated a co-worker named Kay.  During that time, Eric designated Kay as his… Read More →

Questions from Tiffany’s Desk: Should we be worried about estate taxes?

Question:  This one actually came from conversations with my own family, during which several family members raised concerns about having to pay federal estate taxes after the older generation of the family passed away and the farm was left to the younger generation.  Realizing how many misconceptions there are about the current status of the federal estate tax, I thought a blog post offering some basic information might be helpful. Answer:  For the vast majority of farm and ranch families (estimated at 98%), the federal estate tax will… Read More →

A Lesson from the Lyrics: Estate/Transition Planning Resources

A couple of weeks ago, my friend and Stamford, Texas-based attorney James Decker shared a music video on Twitter.  His Twitter feed is semi-famous for sharing excellent info, so I gave “S Lazy H” by Corb Lund a listen.  And I was just blown away by the truthfulness of this song and the lessons that could be taken from the lyrics.  It is essentially a song about what happens when a farm/ranch transition from one generation to the next goes wrong. Click here to listen to “S Lazy… Read More →

September 16, 2016 Weekly Round Up

We hope everyone is enjoying some fall weather and football on tv!  Here are some of the agricultural law stories in the news this week. Appellate Court Reverses Decision, Finds EPA Violated Privacy of Farmers and Ranchers.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth has reversed a trial court decision to dismiss a lawsuit filed by National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation against the EPA for releasing farmers’ and ranchers’ personal information to environmental groups.  This case began when the EPA released… Read More →

September 9, 2016 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  Here are some of the agricultural law stories in the news this week. * Bird cannons causing trouble for neighbors.  One of the more common nuisance claims involving agricultural operations are those involving propane cannons used to keep birds away from fruits like grapes and blueberries.  Oftentimes, neighbors complain about the sound from these cannons, which can fire off every few seconds for hours a day.  Right to Farm statutes are an important line of defense for farmers facing this type of complaint, if the state’s… Read More →

July 15, 2016 Weekly Round Up

We’ve hit the halfway point for July and I hope everyone is staying cool in this heat!  It’s been a busy week for me.  On Monday, I gave an online presentation on agricultural leases to the 2016 Generation Next participants.  Thursday found me in Sherman, again talking ag leases.  On Friday, I wrapped things up in Greenville talking key laws for Texas landowner to beware of.  Welcome to those of you joining from these events! Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week…. Read More →

July 8, 2016 Weekly Round Up

Here are some of the agricultural law stories in the news this week. * NM Supreme Court Holds Agricultural Exemption to Workers Compensation Law Unconstitutional.  Last week, the New Mexico Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals holding that an exemption excluding farm and ranch laborers from mandatory workers compensation coverage was unconstitutional.  [Read full opinion here.]  I previously wrote a blog post explaining this issue and outlining the Court of Appeals opinion.  To read that, click here.  Although the Court agreed that the provision was unconstitutional, it… Read More →