Category Archives: Estate Planning

Questions from Tiffany’s Desk: Are Life Insurance Proceeds Part of Taxible Estate?

Question:  If I have a $1 million life insurance policy, are the proceeds of that policy considered as part of my gross taxable estate for determining federal estate taxes at my death? Answer:  As is the answer for most legal questions, it depends.  This is an issue that many people are unaware of and that may have significant estate planning implications.  In light of that, a detailed discussion is necessary. Why Should We Care? The reason that the answer to this question is so important is that people… Read More →

September 12, 2014 Weekly Round Up

It’s been busy in the ag law world.  Here are a few of the stories and articles in the headlines over the last week. * Two Groundwater District Approaches, One Aquifer.  Neena Satija with the Texas Tribune wrote a great article discussing a controversy between Groundwater Conservation Districts managing the Corrizo-Wilcox aquifer in Central Texas.  The Post Oak Savannah GCD and the Lost Pines GCD both manage groundwater for counties overlaying the same aquifer.  Both, however, take different approaches to the permitting process.  These differing approaches have allowed water… Read More →

September 6, 2014 Weekly Round Up

Yesterday, I enjoyed a trip to Lubbock to attend the planning meeting of the county extension agents in Districts 1 and 2.  Led by RPD, Danny Nusser, the agents worked hard to come up with program plans for 2015.  It sounds like there will be lots of great programs in the Panhandle and South Plains next year!  I appreciated the opportunity to attend. Here are a few ag law stories in the news this week. * Eminent Domain Controversy Near Mumford.  A proposed rail yard has caused a… Read More →

Back To School Checklist Should Include Powers of Attorneys for College Students

Most of the time, powers of attorney are drafted as part of the estate planning process.  As college students head back to campus this fall, however, they should consider preparing powers of attorney for financial and healthcare needs. Once children reach the age of 18, parents are no longer able to automatically make financial and medical decisions on their behalf.  For example, healthcare privacy laws will not let parents access healthcare information about their adult children absent written authorization.  Similarly, if a child is in an accident and… Read More →

August 15, 2014 Weekly Round Up

This week I was literally all across the state of Texas at various programs.  From Monahans discussing oil and gas leasing, pipeline easement negotiations, and water law, to Caldwell speaking on groundwater ownership, to Diboll discussing eminent domain and pipeline easements for forest landowners, to Corrigan on Friday discussing grazing leases, water law, and generational transfer.  Each stop had an outstanding turn out and great participants who were engaged and interested in the topics.  Folks like that make my job more fun!  A big thanks to all of… Read More →

August 1, 2014 Weekly Round Up

This week I made the journey to Menard, TX for the “All About Water” program where I spoke about Texas water law.  It was an absolutely group in attendance and I thoroughly enjoyed their questions and participation.  Thanks to Lisa Brown for the invitation to attend.  To those of you visiting form that program, welcome! Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. *New Mexico Slaughterhouse Withdraws Permit.  Valley Meats Co. has withdrawn its permit application with the New Mexico Environment Department for… Read More →

July 25, 2014 Weekly Round Up

It has been a warm, humid week here in Aggieland!  Here are a few ag law stories making the news recently. * Plaintiffs’ Attorney Explains Case Against Prius Audit Firm.  An attorney representing 46 plaintiffs who were injured or killed from a 2011 listeria outbreak traced to a cantaloupe farm in Colorado wrote a very interesting blog about the suits his clients have filed against the audit firm who gave the farm a superior rating in the days just before the tainted fruit was shipped.  The attorney discusses the facts, legal… Read More →

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 →