Category Archives: Estate Planning

Transferring Property Prior to Death: Pros, Cons, and Alternatives

I frequently field questions where a landowner is trying to decide whether it would be better to transfer his or her property to the next generation (or their identified heir) while the landowner is still living, or wait until the landowner has passed away.  I always try to outline the pros, cons, and highlight two other options here in Texas that may allow a landowner to receive the pros and avoid the cons of a transfer prior to death. Pros of Transferring Property Prior to Death There are… Read More →

August 28, 2020 Weekly Round Up

Welcome to another agricultural law weekly round up.  Here are some of the recent ag law stories in the news. *USDA issues Final Rule modifying eligibility rules to qualify for farm program payments.  The USDA Farm Service Agency issued a Final Rule making changes to eligibility requirements for farm program payments.  One expected change per the 2018 Farm Bill allows first cousins, nieces, and nephews to qualify under the definition of “family member.”  A more unexpected change dealt with modifications of definitions of “active personal management” and “significant… Read More →

July 24, 2020 Weekly Round Up

We’ve made it to another Friday!  Many of you saw my post on Twitter a couple of weeks ago about how dry we were back at my parents’ ranch.  I’m happy to report they’ve received 3″ of rain in the last week.  You’ll see water standing in the rows in the photo below.   It was a sight for sore eyes, for sure!   * US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upholds registration for Enlist Duo herbicide.  In a much-anticipated decision, the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion… Read More →

July 10, 2020 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  We are looking at a high of 108 today in the Texas Panhandle.  I hope you are all staying cool and healthy. Here are some of the agricultural law stories in the news over the past week. *Texas Wildlife Association Annual Convention available online.  The Texas Wildlife Association has curated a wonderful annual convention and has posted every session online, available to anyone, for free!  This includes my 30 minute presentation on landowner liability, which you can watch by clicking here. *USDA seeks comment on potential… Read More →

May 1, 2020 Weekly Round Up

Happy May Day to all!  I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. Here are some of the biggest ag law stories in the news over the past couple of weeks. *Navigable Waters Protection Rule is published.  The WOTUS saga continues.  The Trump administration’s definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act, newly named “Navigable Waters Protection Rule,” was published in the Federal Register on April 21.  I’ll have a blog post discussing the details soon, but for now if you want to read… Read More →

April 17, 2020 Weekly Round Up

Hello again from the Lashmet household.  I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy.  Here are a few ag law stories in the news the past two weeks. *COVID-19 legislation and ag producers.  There have been a number of programs created by Congress in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The National Agricultural Law Center has created a website with great resources and frequently asked questions.  This is a perfect place to start diving into the details, determine how these programs may impact you, and look for information… Read More →

Common Alternatives to Probate in Texas

When people hear talk of the probate process, they may cringe and have an idea that probating a will or going through an estate administration if someone dies intestate (without a will) should be avoided at any cost.  Fortunately for those of us who live in Texas, the probate process is not nearly as onerous as it may be in other states.  Thus, while there may be situations to seek out an alternative to the probate process, it is certainly not a goal that exists for every estate. … Read More →

April 3, 2020 Weekly Round Up

Here is a list of some of the recent agricultural law stories in the news. *Montana Court upholds constitutionality of beef checkoff.  The biggest story of the last couple of weeks was a trial court ruling in the beef checkoff litigation.  The United States District Court for the District of Montana found in favor of USDA and the Montana Beef Council, holding that the advertising and promotional speech of the Montana Beef Council (and similar organizations in 14 other states) constituted government speech given USDA oversight.  Thus, the… Read More →

Case Illustrates Law Regarding Challenge to Testamentary Capacity

A recent case illustrates the law related to testamentary capacity and shows the kind of testimony that is relevant in cases where a challenge to capacity occurs. Background Ava Mahaffey signed a will and a self-proving affidavit on October 25, 2016.  The will was witnessed by Morgan Wayne Dale and Elizabeth Jesko, the attorney who drafted the will.  The affidavit was notarized by Jesko’s assistant. The will made bequests to three of Mahaffey’s sister, but excluded the fourth sister, Ms. Crosswhite.  The residuary clause left Mahaffey’s residual estate… Read More →

February 28, 2020 Weekly Round Up

As usual, there have been a number of ag law stories in the news the past couple of weeks.  Here’s this week’s round up. *USDA delays enforcement of two major portions of hemp Interim Final Rule.  This week, the USDA announced that it will temporarily delay enforcement of two provisions of the Interim Final Rule on hemp production until October 31, 2021 or the publication of the Final Rule, whichever is earlier.  First, the DEA will delay enforcing the requirement that THC testing must be conducted at DEA… Read More →