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Is Joint Tenancy a Good Estate Plan?

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By Dal Houston

Recently I had a meeting with a client regarding his estate plan, and his primary question was whether he could use joint tenancy to avoid probate and/or the costs of preparing a trust.
As an estate attorney for the past 25 years, I have seen numerous estates handled by re-titling assets in joint tenancy, and many were administered without any problem and minimal costs; however, I have also seen as many estates run off the rails as a result of using joint tenancy.

First, before delving into the subject, I don’t have a major objection to using joint tenancy between spouses, as long as the joint tenancy implements the parties’ intentions and is the most advantageous to the client. Accordingly, most of this article is focused on using joint tenancy, with the client’s children or other intended beneficiaries.

In looking at this question, the first thing to do is clarify what the term “joint tenancy” means.
The term joint tenancy has significant legal meaning; in short, it means that upon the death of the first person, their interest is immediately vested in the survivor(s). For example, if a father and son own real estate together as joint tenants, upon the first death the property is immediately vested in the survivor.

To read more, pick up a copy of the January 2024 issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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Country Lifestyles

When a City Girl Goes Country

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By Annette Bridges

It was one of those necessary, yet very sad days in the life of a cattle rancher. We had to say goodbye to our bull, Frankie. We returned from the agonizing drive, and I felt compelled to sit down and ponder how to write an ode to a very good bull.

I have read all the rationale on when it is time to retire a bull. The average age for many ranchers is around eight years. Our Frankie was beyond his prime. We probably knew last year it was about time for him to retire. His lack of enthusiasm when he returned to the herd after his spring hiatus was a clue.

The very slow start to our spring calving this year, and cows that never conceived confirmed what we did not want to admit last year. It was time. Frankie was a handsome and gentle giant. A Charolais mix, but he could be fierce if he felt threatened.

To read more, pick up a copy of the May issue of NTFR. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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Country Lifestyles

Lacey’s Pantry

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Lacey Vilhauer

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef
1 package of taco seasoning or 2-3 Tbsp
homemade taco seasoning
2/3 cup water
16 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
8 oz. sharp cheddar, shredded
4 oz. can diced green chilies, undrained
4 large eggs, separated
2/3 cup heavy cream or evaporated milk
1 Tbsp flour
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 Roma tomato, sliced thinly

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, then brown the ground beef. Drain.
Add the taco seasoning to the ground beef and 2/3 cup water. Stir well and let sauce thicken.
Transfer the ground beef to the prepared baking dish, spreading it into an even layer. Sprinkle the diced green chilies over the ground beef layer. Combine the shredded cheeses and sprinkle them over the ground beef and chilies. Set aside.
Separate the egg whites from the yolks, placing the egg whites in a medium-sized bowl, and the yolks into a separate medium-sized bowl. Add the heavy cream, flour, salt and cayenne pepper to the yolks. Whisk to combine.

To read more, pick up the June issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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Country Lifestyles

Jesses Jewelz

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By Jesse Kader

This month western meets safari with this fun army green jumpsuit. I love a good jumpsuit that is simple but stylish and can be accessorized in so many ways. This one especially caught my eye because of the western yoke detail. See this and more at www.jessesjewelz.com

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