Category Archives: Estate Planning

July 18, 2014 Weekly Round Up

This week we have an interesting mix of ag law in the news. *Augustin Plains Ranch LLC Files Another Water Use Application in New Mexico.  Augustin Plains Ranch LLC has filed another application to drill 37 wells and pipe 17 million gallons of water per year from rural western New Mexico to the Bernalillo County.  A similar proposal was rejected by the State Engineer in 2012 finding it too broad and too vague.  Numerous ranchers, landowners, environmental groups, and irrigation districts opposed the application in 2012–one of the most contested applications in New Mexico history–fearing… Read More →

July 11, 2014 Weekly Round Up

Yesterday, I had the great opportunity to speak at the American Quarter Horse Association’s Youth Excellence Seminar here in College Station.  It does not seem like that long ago I was going to these type of conferences as a 4-H and FFA member!  I hate to pick favorites, but I’ll admit that was the most fun presentation that I’ve given.  The kids asked great questions, had thoughtful debates, and were extremely interested in the ag law issues raised.  Looking at the 40 young people in that room, I’d say our future is in… Read More →

June 20, 2014 Weekly Round Up

This has been a busy week!  On Monday evening, I was in Wheeler, Texas giving a presentation on estate and succession planning.  County Agent Dale Dunlap invited me to come and I was impressed with the great questions from the audience on these important issues. On Tuesday, I headed for Boston for the Universities Council on Water Resources Conference at Tufts, University.  I was fortunate to present on two panels at the conference.  On Tuesday, I spoke along with Dr. Ari Michelsen of Texas A&M and Dr. Brian Hurd… Read More →

June 13, 2014 Weekly Round Up

Last night I spoke in Sherman, Texas on mineral rights, eminent domain, and pipeline easement negotiations.  Grayson County Extension agent Chuck Jones planned this seminar after receiving numerous questions from landowners in the area related to these topics.  There was a great turnout and I enjoyed the chance to visit with everyone! Here are a few stories ag law stories in the news this week. * Oil and gas industry highlights alternatives to freshwater use in fracking process.  At the Texas Oil and Gas Water Conservation and Recycling Symposium,… Read More →

May 16, 2014 Weekly Round Up

Last week I spoke to a group of landowners at the Western Navarro Bobwhite Recovery Initiative Spring Meeting in Blooming Grove.  Blake Alldredge planned a great meeting at a wonderful location and I enjoyed the opportunity to attend.  On Tuesday, I was in Simonton to present on leasing issues at the Upper Gulf Coast Ranch Exposition.  I appreciate all of the hard work that Greg Kaase put in to get this program put together and enjoyed the chance to visit with the producers.  To those of you joining from these presentations,… Read More →

May 9, 2014 Weekly Round Up

Things continue to be busy around here with lots of programs going on.  Last week, I spoke on grazing leases and the Texas Right to Farm Act at an Agribusiness 101 session for Travis and Bastrop Counties in Austin.  Thank you to County Extension Agents Julie Ansley and Rachel Bauer for the invitation!  Last Friday, I made the drive to Nacogdoches to speak on basic estate planning at a Value of Land Seminar hosted by the Nacogdoches and Angelina County Extension Offices.  Jamie Sugg and Cary Sims did a great… Read More →

April 18, 2014 Weekly Round Up

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* This week I attended the 2014 Texas Water Conference in Dallas.  Amber Miller, an attorney from Lubbock, and I spoke to a large group of folks on an important Texas water issue:  Where do water wells drilled for use in the fracking process fit under the Texas exempt well statute.  I’ll have a blog post up explaining this issue and why it is important for Texans in the near future.  For those of you joining the… Read More →

Don’t Wait to Plan Your Estate

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* Back in December, I gave a presentation on estate planning at the Amarillo Farm and Ranch Show Commodity Symposium. The High Plains Journal recently wrote an article outlining the presentation and the advice that I provided to participants.  Importantly, I discussed the false premise that many people believe–if one spouse dies without a will, all assets are transferred to the surviving spouse–and explained the problems that could be caused by intestate distribution of assets.  Additionally, I… Read More →

December 6, 2013 Weekly Round Up

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** This week I was able to speak at the Texas Commodity Symposium held in conjunction with the Amarillo Farm and Ranch Show.  It was a great symposium and I enjoyed the chance to visit with the attendees and hear the other speakers.  Hello to the new readers from the Farm and Ranch Show!  Here are a few ag law-related stories making news this week. *Federal Reserve Bank Report Suggests Water Market Approach.  The Federal Reserve Bank… Read More →

Questions from Tiffany’s Desk: If I Die Without a Will…

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** Question:  I don’t need a will.  If I die without a will, don’t all of my assets just go to my spouse? Answer:  No!  Let me repeat myself because this is important.  No!  This is a common misconception that can lead to serious family problems down the road. If a person dies without a will, every state has statutes (called “intestate succession statutes”) that control the distribution of that person’s estate.  (Importantly, not all assets pass through an… Read More →