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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 been a lot of talk from Washington, DC, about potential changes…
You may know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month.  Because this is such an important issue, especially for those of us involved in agriculture, I wanted to share a podcast interview I did with Adrienne DeSutter. Adrienne’s background makes her perfect for this conversation.  Not only does she have a counseling degree, but she is also a farm wife who has spoken extensively about mental health and agriculture.  She joined me to talk about why this is such an issue for our industry, and some tips for taking care of yourself.  I’m a believer that the best defense is…
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 potential changes to some of these rules.  The posts in this…
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 American Families Plan asks Congress to increase the capital gains tax rate…
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, there has been a lot of talk from Washington, DC, about potential…
Question:  I am able to access my property by a written, recorded easement that states I have “uninterrupted and free use” of the easement.  The owner of the servient estate (the person over whose land the easement crosses) has built a gate across the easement.  Can he do that across an easement that grants “uninterrupted and free use?” Answer:  Likely not. Keep in mind that every easement is different and even slight changes in wording could change the way a court might interpret the document.  So, it is imperative that landowners read the language in their own easements and seek…
Happy May!  Here are a few of the ag law stories in the news over the past couple of weeks. Photo by Laura McKenzie, Texas A&M Marketing and Communications   *Three laws every rural landowner in Texas should know.  I recently chatted with Texas Standard and offered three key laws I think that every rural landowner should know.  See what made my list here. *President Biden mentions exception for farms in proposal to increase capital gains taxes and do away with stepped up basis.  There have been numerous articles discussing President Biden’s proposal to increase the capital gains tax rate…
Lobue v. Hanson, a case involving a wedding venue, a bridesmaid, a horse, and the Farm Animal Liability Act recently caught my attention.   [Read case here.] Background Todd Hanson owns a fifty-six acre property in Crosby, which he rents as a wedding venue called The Barn at Four Pines Ranch.  The weddings are held in a barn on the property.  Cattle and horses are on the property, but there is a fence separating the livestock from the barn. When the bride and groom arrived on their wedding day, they noticed that the horses were in the area that should…
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. Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash 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 was never revoked. The 2001 will…
Happy Friday!  It’s sure been a week around here.  I hope we all get some rest this weekend. Here are some of the ag law stories in the news the past couple of weeks. Laura McKenzie/Texas A&M AgriLife Marketing & Communications *Important property tax deadlines coming up for rural Texas landowners.  Many property tax deadlines are coming up, requiring that paperwork be submitted by rural landowners to County Appraisal Districts before May 1.  This includes the deadline to submit an open space valuation application and a wildlife management valuation application.  Keep in mind, anyone who has purchased property in the…