May 5, 2023 Weekly Round Up

Happy Cinco de Mayo!  We’re back with another ag law round up of news and articles from around the country.

We’ve also got a photo of our newest addition born just yesterday from our place here in Texas.

*Texas Supreme Court sides with royalty owner in post-production cost case.  The Texas Supreme Court recently sided with royalty owners in Devon v. Sheppard, a case challenging post production costs in the Eagle Ford Shale.  [Read Opinion here and Dissenting Opinion here.]  To read a good summary of the decision, click here.

*Current status of Biden WOTUS Rule.   With lawsuits filed across the country and a US Supreme Court decision looming, the status of WOTUS continues to shift.  Brigit Rollins at the National Agricultural Law Center published a great article on the current status of the Biden Rule, which is currently enjoined in 27 states. [Read article here.]

* The fallout from dying without a will.  The Wall Street Journal wrote an article discussing the confusing and often times unintended consequences that can come when a person dies without a will.  [Read article here.]

*Three Celebrity Probate Disasters and Tragic Lessons.  My friend, Cari Rincker, recently published an article looking at three celebrity estates that have turned into probate disasters.  She reviews each particular situation and offers a “lesson learned” from the star.  [Read article here.]  We took a similar approach to estate planning earlier this year on my Ag Law in the Field Podcast, when Professor Gerry Beyer and I chatted about the same topic using a list of different celebrities.  [Listen here.]

*Estate tax sunset coming in 2026.  Robert Moore recently wrote an article reminding us that the federal estate tax exemption will be cut in half, reduced to $5 million/person.  Note, that number will be adjusted for inflation and experts say it will likely be closer to $7 million.  Although most farm and ranch operations will still fall below the exemption, there will certainly be more facing potential liability come 2026 given this decrease.  [Read article here.]  For more information on the federal estate tax, click here to read a prior blog post I wrote explaining how the estate tax operates, and click here to listen to a conversation I had about the estate tax with Kitt Tovar from the Iowa State Center for Ag Law and Taxation.

Upcoming Presentations

I am back at it with several upcoming presentations.  Today, I’ll be speaking virtually to the Cow/Calf Clinic in Fayette County on carbon contracts and solar leases.  On Monday, I’ll be in Conroe for our Where’s the Beef? direct beef sales program.  We are expecting a great turnout and are excited to see everyone there.  The following day, Tuesday the 9th, I’ll be in Boerne for our Ranchers Leasing Workshop.  We’ve still got a few seats left (and if you are a real estate agent, we can give you 2 landowner liability CE credits for attending).  To register, click here.

As always, our Ranchers Leasing Workshop Online Course and our Owning Your Piece of Texas Online Course are available on demand.

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