Category Archives: Estate Planning

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 →

February 12, 2021 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  It seems like the entire state of Texas is preparing for winter weather this weekend.  I hope you all stay safe and warm.  I want to welcome those of you joining from my recent programs in El Campo and Robstown.  We’re glad you are here! Here are some of the ag law stories in the news the past couple of weeks. *Claims period open for soybean farmers who were injured by dicamba drift in 2015-2020.  Soybean farmers around the country may be eligible to make a… Read More →

January 29, 2021 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  It’s been a busy week here as I have been working with several of my colleagues in the Texas A&M Agricultural Economics Department on a series of educational videos on the legal and economic issues related to hemp production. If this is a topic of interest to you, be sure you subscribe to this blog as we will be releasing our videos and written materials within the next month! Here are some of the ag law stories in the news over the past couple of weeks…. Read More →

January 15, 2021 Weekly Round Up

Happy 2021, friends!  We hope you all had a happy, healthy holiday and we are excited to be back for our first Weekly Round Up of the year.  Here are some of the major agricultural law stories in the news over the past couple of weeks. * Lawsuit filed seeking to overturn recent dicamba registration.  On December 22, several environmental groups filed suit against the US Environmental Protection Agency challenging the recent approval of the use of over-the-top dicamba products through 2025. Specifically, the lawsuit claims that the… Read More →

December 4, 2020 Weekly Round Up

Happy December! Here are a few of the biggest ag law stories in the news over the past couple of weeks. *Dairy farmers receiving letters seeking repayment of funds from Dean Foods.  Many dairy farmers who sold milk to Dean Foods prior to its bankruptcy filing  have been receiving letters recently from ASK, LLC.  Essentially, these letters note that the recipient received some payment from Dean Foods within the 90-days prior to its bankruptcy filing.  After visiting with an ag bankruptcy attorney who has reviewed the letters, he… Read More →

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 →