Category Archives: Estate Planning

AFPC Analyzes Proposed Tax Change Impact on Representative Farms

The Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University recently released a report looking at the likely impacts of proposed changes to the estate and capital gains taxes. [View Report here.]  Specifically, the report analyzed the impact that changes to the lifetime exclusion for estate taxes and the elimination of the stepped up basis for capital gains taxes would have on the AFPC’s 94 representative farms.  The results were clear in showing that for the representative farms, the proposed policy changes would greatly increase tax liability. Estate… Read More →

Talking Taxes: Capital Gains Tax

Today, we are wrapping up our three-part blog series, Talking Taxes.  Be sure you didn’t miss our prior posts on the estate tax and gift tax.  Today, we will tackle the topic of capital gains taxes. I’ll offer the same two disclaimers as I have on the prior posts in this series.  I am not a tax lawyer, CPA, or accountant.  I’m here to offer just basic information, but highly recommend that you consult with your attorney and tax professional for further advice or clarification.  Second, there has… Read More →

Talking Taxes: Gift Tax

Today, we will continue our three-part Talking Taxes series with a discussion of the federal gift tax.  If you missed our first post discussing the estate tax, click here. As I did last week, I want to offer two disclaimers.  The first is that I am not a CPA or an accountant.  I’m here to offer just basic information, but highly recommend that you consult with your attorney and tax professional for further advice or clarification.  Second, there has been a lot of talk from Washington, DC, about… Read More →

May 21, 2021 Weekly Round Up

Welcome to Friday! I hope everyone has fun weekend plans.  I will be running a Dinosaur 5K with my kids tomorrow, so we will see how Mama survives with a 4 and 5 year old in tow! Here are some of the biggest ag law stories in the news over the past couple of weeks. *Potential tax policy changes cause concern.  President Biden’s administration has indicated there may be policy changes related to capital gains taxes that have caused concern for many agricultural groups. In particular, President Biden’s… Read More →

Talking Taxes: Estate Tax

Today, we will kick off a three-part series called Talking Taxes.  We are going to focus on three federal taxes that arise frequently for farm and ranch families when it comes to estate planning: the estate tax, the gift tax, and the capital gains tax. I want to offer two disclaimers.  The first is that I am not a CPA or an accountant.  I’m here to offer just basic information, but highly recommend that you consult with your attorney and tax professional for further advice or clarification.  Second,… Read More →

Case Addresses Requirements for Valid Codicil to Will

A recent Houston Court of Appeals (1st District) case, In re the Estate of Billy Joe Wlecyk, offers some important considerations to consider with regard to executing a will and codicil. Background Billy Joe Wleczyk died on January 30, 2018.  Two days later, his daughter, Sharon Reed,  filed an Application for Probate of Will and Letters Testamentary stating that Billy Joe resided in Brazoria County at the time of his death.  The Application further provided that he executed a will in 2001, which was ratified in July 2016, and… Read More →

April 9, 2021 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  Spring has sprung here in the Texas Panhandle and I’m enjoying the green grass and warmer weather.  Here are few of the ag law stories in the news over the past couple of weeks.   * Farm Animal Liability Act bill moves forward as amended.  You may recall from our post a week ago that HB 365 is currently pending and would modify the Texas Farm Animal Liability Act to ensure application to working farms and ranches.  For more detail, click here.  The bill continues to… Read More →

March 26, 2021 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  Here a few of the ag law stories in the news the past couple of weeks. *Maryland trial court ruling on ammonia emissions and the Clean Water Act draws concern.  A recent case decided in Maryland has resulted in nationwide discussion over agriculture and the intersection of the Clean Air and Clean Water Act.  Essentially, the circuit court judge ruled that Maryland must regulate air pollution–ammonia, in particular–under the state’s implementation of the federal Clean Water Act.  This raises concern for livestock producers, who are exempt… Read More →

Have You Checked Your Beneficiary Designations & Account Details?

Anyone who has attended farm or ranch educational programs around the country have likely heard talk of the importance of having an estate plan.  Certainly, every person should have a will, power of attorney, healthcare power of attorney, and advanced healthcare directive.  These are the basic building blocks of any estate plan.  [To read more about these documents, click here and see Chapter 14.]  Also critical to a successful estate plan is reviewing beneficiary designations and account signatory cards/creation documents to ensure these are up to date and… Read More →

March 12, 2021 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  We’re back with some more of the ag law stories in the news over the past couple of weeks. * Bill would modify Texas Farm Animal Liability Act to ensure applicability to working ranches.  You may remember last year that the Texas Supreme Court issued a ruling in Waak v. Zuniga holding that the Texas Farm Animal Liability Act does not apply if the injured party is a rancher or ranch hand. [Read prior post here.]  There are a couple of bills in the Texas Legislature seeking… Read More →