Category Archives: Estate Planning

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 →

May 27, 2016 Weekly Round Up

It has been a busy couple of weeks around here, sorry for the delay in Weekly Round Up posts!  Recently, Atascoca County Extension Agent, Dale Rankin, had me present online to a couple of different extension meetings in south Texas.  Next up, I traveled to Austin to attend the Stiles Farm Legislative Field Day.  There were a number of legislators and their staffers at this event, where we were able to showcase and educate about agriculture and issues important to the industry.  Kudos to Ryan Collett and his team for… Read More →

April 15, 2016 Weekly Round Up

First, I want to apologize to those of you attending the Texas and Southwest Cattle Raisers Convention for my absence last Friday.  We had a family medical emergency pop up on my way to Ft. Worth that required me to turn around and come home.  I’m happy to report that all is well now and hopefully my husband’s grandfather is on the mend.  Second, it’s been another busy week in the ag law realm. Here are some of the key stories in the news. * Texas Water Development… Read More →

March 11, 2016 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday to everyone!  There were lots of interesting ag law stories in the news this week.  Let’s take a look. * Mexico Complies with Rio Grande Treaty Obligations.  You may remember from this prior post the long running dispute between Texas and Mexico regarding water owed to the US under the 1944 Rio Grande Treaty.  For several years, Mexico had been behind on the required water delivery.  As of January 25, the International Boundary and Water Commission confirmed that Texas had delivered all water owed under the… Read More →

Review and Update Your Estate Plan Now!

Although not as exciting as some other ag law issues we discuss on this blog, this topic is one of the most important for folks to consider.  I recently wrote an article for Dairy Herd Management discussing this topic.  While creating an estate plan is a very important step, it is not the end of the journey.  It is critical that once an estate plan has been created, it is reviewed and updated periodically.  I recommend that folks review estate plans at least once a year (your birthday… Read More →