Category Archives: Estate Planning

December 16, 2022 Weekly Round Up

We are here with our final round up of 2022.  It has been a busy year.  If you missed our National Year in Review blog post, click here. If you prefer audio, you can check out my podcast episode with Paul Goeringer here.  Be sure to check back on Monday for our Texas Year in Review post as well. Here are a few of the ag law stories in the news. Oral argument held in dicamba case before D.C. Court of Appeals.  Oral argument was held this week in… Read More →

IRS Announces 2023 Estate & Gift Tax Exemption Amounts

Recently, the IRS announced the 2023 estate and gift tax exemption amounts.  These amounts change slightly each year, and are an important consideration in a person’s estate planning process. As we have previously discussed the IRS sets a certain amount that a person is allowed to give during their lifetime or at death without estate or gift tax liability.  [Read prior blog posts here and here.]  The IRS adjusts the amount each year.  For 2023, the exemption amount will be $12.92 million per person, up from $12.06 million… Read More →

November 11, 2022 Weekly Round Up

Happy Veteran’s Day, and thank you to all who have served. We’re back again with a number of developments in the agricultural law world over the past few weeks. *PRF Deadline December 1.  Don’t forget that the deadline to sign up for Pasture, Range & Forage insurance (commonly referred to as “rainfall insurance”) is coming up on December 1.  To read more about this insurance option, click here.  For a detailed discussion of PRF and the decisions a landowner must make during sign up, click here for a… Read More →

What Happens When You Are Late Probating a Will?

When a widow was told by an attorney she did not need to probate her husband’s will, but learned 11 years later she should have done so, what happens?  This was the issue facing the Austin Court of Appeals in Castillo v. Castillo-Wall.  [Read Opinion here.] Applicable Law Section 256.003(a) of the Texas Estates Code provides:  “A will may not be admitted to probate after the fourth anniversary of the testator’s death unless it is show by proof that the applicant for the probate of the will was not… Read More →

October 14, 2022 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  It has been a busy couple of weeks in the ag law world. *US Supreme Court hears oral argument in two key cases.  The US Supreme Court heard oral argument in two key ag-related cases.  First, on October 3, 2022, the Justices heard argument in Sackett v. EPA, a case looking at the proper test for determining whether a wetland is considered a “water of the United States” under the Clean Water Act.  [Read more here.]  To listen to the recording of this argument or read the… Read More →

Did the Life Estate Conveyance Include the Minerals?

In 2020, the Texas Supreme Court issued its opinion in ConocoPhillips Co. v. Ramirez, 599 S.W.3d 296 (Tex. 2020), a case involving the interpretation of a life estate and whether the creation of the life estate applied only to the surface interest, or to the minerals as well. Background  Ildefonzo Ramirez died in 1941. He left his two children, Leon Juan and Felicidad, a total of 7,016 acres in Zapata County. Not all tracts of the estate were contiguous. Months after Ildefonzo’s death, the two siblings partitioned the surface… Read More →

September 30, 2022 Weekly Round Up

It is hard to believe we have reached the end of September.  It has been a busy couple of weeks in the agricultural law realm. *Ag policy lesson from Dr. Outlaw.  Dr. Joe Outlaw offered an important ag policy lesson earlier this week on the Southern Ag Today website talking about unintended consequences. He discussed a proposed rule from the Securities and Exchange Commission on climate-related disclosures and how the requirement could have major impacts on agriculture.  [Read article here.] *EPA sued over alleged FOIA violations.  The Center… Read More →

September 16, 2022 Weekly Round Up

I apologize for missing our last weekly round up post.  We’re back today with lots of agricultural law news from around the country. *Settlement deadline looming in Texas v. New Mexico water lawsuit.  Michael Melloy has given Texas and New Mexico until September 23 to reach a settlement in the ongoing Texas v. New Mexico water lawsuit currently pending at the US Supreme Court.  If the parties fail to meet that deadline, the case is set to go to trial, set in Cedar Rapids, IA, in January.  [Read article… Read More →

August 19, 2022 Weekly Round Up

We’re back again with summaries of some of the ag law stories in the news over the past two weeks. *EPA Report Finds Numerous Risks Related to Dicamba.  The EPA released a draft ecological risk assessment on Wednesday finding that dicamba potentially adversely affects birds, mammals, bees, freshwater fish, aquatic vascular plants, and (of primary concern) non-target terrestrial plants.  The report stated the EPA found no evidence that the new restrictions implemented in 2020 have helped reduce the number of drift complaints. The report indicated that the EPA… Read More →

August 5, 2022 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday and Happy August!  We’re back with another Ag Law Weekly Round Up. Earlier this week, I was able to travel to California with my kids and my aunt to accept the Distinguished Extension Program Award (less than 10 years) from the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.  I am so honored to have received this award, and my children were quite excited to swim in the Pacific Ocean and visit Disneyland. With that, here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. *US… Read More →