Hegwood Law - July 2019



HEGWOODLAW.COM • 281.218.0880

JULY 2019

MOWING LAWNS ANDWAITING TABLES Lessons Learned FromMy First Summer Jobs

N omatter howmanyworkenvironments and bosses you experience, no one forgets their first job. While people join the workforce at various ages, their first time punching the time clock tends to be quite similar. They feel butterflies anxiously fluttering around in their stomach as they head to the job site, they focus on exuding their most professional and capable demeanor to their supervisor, and they spend that entire first week trying to cram as much information into their brains as possible. They also remember the first time they opened that envelope at the end of the pay period, eyes wide with joy at the thought of spending money they earned completely on their own.

might not be worth the cash, but I still stuck with it for several years.

While I tried my hand at babysitting off and on as a preteen, I landed my first job at a designated establishment at age 14 as a waitress. Then at 16, I was hired as a checker at a grocery store. My experiences in these roles lead me to believe that every person needs to work in customer service at some point — some of the best professional and personal lessons come through working in customer service. You are tasked with putting others’ needs before your own, staying positive even in the most difficult of situations, and, most importantly, learning the value of the golden rule. My mom always preached to us: Treat people how you want to be treated because all people are good until they prove you wrong. That is a lesson I remind myself of daily. When it came to work, my mom taught me many lessons. She raised all of us kids on her own, and I remember her sometimes working three jobs to make ends meet. Watching her finish one shift just to start another taught me a kind of wisdom that many people do not learn until they are an adult: patience. If you want something, you have to work for it first. I held various positions throughout college and law school, but when my oldest daughter was born, I started running my own business from home. Fortunately, the discipline I gathered from a lifetime of working for other people

fueled my motivation, and, while I work on location at Hegwood Law Group now, I’ve never lost the entrepreneurial desire. My oldest daughter is 32 now, and I have worked for myself all those years. Being self-employed certainly has its challenges, but it is far and away the best job I have ever had. I have the pleasure and opportunity to work with the best clients to assemble legal documents to protect what is most important to them. Even after all these years, getting to hear new clients’ stories is honestly the best part of my day. If you know someone who might need a hand or a listening ear, do not hesitate to point them in my direction. I’m happy to help.

"Your first job, as well as any other jobs you held during those important formative years, tend to stick with you for one reason or another."

Your first job, as well as any other jobs you held during those important formative years, tend to stick with you for one reason or another. The very first job I ever had was mowing lawns. I was 9 and, to be honest, I don't remember much else from that time. But I remember mowing lawns. Maybe spending hours upon hours out in that sunny but humid Texas air, pushing the mower and raking up the leftovers, made me realize all that hard work

-Kim Hegwood



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GONE TO THE DOGS How Can a Thief Sue the Family He Robbed?

Have you heard the story of Terrence Dickson? Even if you don’t know the name, you might have heard his strange tale. Dickson was a burglar in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. One day, after breaking into a house and helping himself to some valuables, Dickson decided to leave through the garage. After discovering the automatic garage door was stuck closed, Dickson turned around and was horrified to realize he’d locked himself inside. To make matters worse, the family he was stealing from had just left for an extended vacation, so Dickson lived off of soda and dried dog food for eight days. When the family returned and found the unlucky burglar, a lawsuit was filed — by Dickson! He sued for mental anguish, and the jury awarded him $500,000. There’s nothing that shakes our faith in the justice systemquite like injustice being served. When Dickson’s story first gained notoriety in 2001, thanks to an email circulated by the now-defunct Stella Awards newsletter, which highlighted “outrageous lawsuits,” people were rightfully enraged. There was just one problem: Terrence Dickson never existed. In 2002, a reporter from Pennsylvania contacted the Bucks County prothonotary's office, where all records for civil cases in the county are kept. He discovered there was no record of any cases involving such

a burglar. It’s worth noting the original email where this story first appeared ended with a call for tort reform from a made-up law firm in Ohio. Likely, this hoax was an attempt to manipulate the public perception of the justice system. Despite being debunked 17 years ago, this tall tale still makes the rounds and often appears on lists of “outrageous lawsuits,” many of which are featured on the websites of legitimate law firms!

There are plenty of wacky legal cases, but when a story is too ridiculous, there’s a good chance a few important details are being left out or the readers are being lied to. Don’t believe everything you read online!


What 'Romeo and Juliet' Can Teach Us About Estate Planning

who have never even met one another. We have a great example of this in our own office. Few people know that attorney Kim Hegwood’s middle name is Amelia, yet that name has stayed in her family for generations.

Originally published for the public in 1597, Shakespeare’s now famous “Romeo and Juliet” continues to capture the hearts and minds of readers all over the world hundreds of years later. Amid the family turmoil, vilified love affairs, and tragic deaths, one line tends to resonate with audiences better than the rest. Juliet, in referencing her ambivalence about Romeo’s background, ponders, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” While Shakespeare’s beautifully penned line captures young Juliet’s ardor for her beloved Romeo, all of us here at Hegwood Law Group adhere to a different school of thought when it comes to the value of one’s name. Names serve an important function: They carry a family’s legacy from one generation to the next. A name can help foster a relationship between relatives

Taking the time to meet with an attorney to prepare the necessary estate planning legal documents is similar to keeping a family name in circulation, but it has more pragmatic and assured results. Even though Texas has a rather simple probate process compared to other states, Texas residents are eager to avoid probate court proceedings that may be costly and time-consuming. If you want to save your family the hassle of probate after you die, Hegwood Law Group can help you. Usually, the best way to avoid probate is to transfer your assets to your beneficiaries by establishing a revocable living trust. Once you put your assets into a living trust, they are managed by your appointed trustee and are not liable to probate or estate tax. There are many other benefits to establishing a revocable living trust, but you should first determine if this option is right for you and your family by meeting with one of our attorneys. Go to HegwoodLaw.com to fill out a consultation form, or give us a call at (281) 612-9614!


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The Guardian Who Would Not Leave His Watch

Odin Lives up to His Legendary Name

Amid the devastation of the wildfires that tore through California in the fall of 2017, a few heroic tales rose up to give people hope. One such tale was of Odin, a loyal Great Pyrenees guard dog. Along with his sister, Tessa, and eight rescue goats, Odin is part of the Hendel family. It was mid-October when the Hendels were awoken by the smell of smoke, a fierce orange sky, and sounds of destruction — urgent warnings from Mother Nature. Gathering everyone as quickly as they could, the Hendels got their human family members and Tessa in the car, but Odin, seated proudly next to the eight goats, refused to get in. Try as they might, the Hendels could not get him to come with them, and there wasn’t enough room in the car for the eight goats. With the firestorm quickly approaching and the risk of losing even more family members increasing with each passing minute, the Hendels made the heart-wrenching decision to leave Odin and the goats behind. The family made it to safety with Tessa in tow, relieved to be together but heartbroken that Odin and the goats weren’t with them. After several agonizing days, it was finally safe enough for them to return home and survey the destruction.

and some small deer that had sought shelter with the brave canine. Weakened, burned, and limping, but nevertheless steadfast, Odin had never left his goats, even as the fire raged around them. Odin wagged his tail as he saw his family, happy to see they were also safe. The Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue and the Goatlandia Animal Sanctuary provided temporary shelter for the goats and pups while the Hendels rebuilt their barn. Odin received all the care he

needed, along with a lot of love and treats. Today, Odin and his goats are back with their family, rebuilding their lives after this devastating wildfire. But the Hendels, and anyone who’s heard the story, won’t soon forget the bravery of Odin, the amazing pup.

What did the Hendels find? Ashes, rubble, their barn and home burned to the ground — and Odin. There he was, still guarding his eight goats




• 14 whole Oreo cookies, broken up into quarters • 1 ½ cups pretzel sticks, broken into pieces • 1 pound white chocolate candy melts (such as Wilton White Candy Melts)

• 1 cup Red, White, and Blue M&M’s or other candy-coated chocolate candies • Colored sprinkles


1. Cover a large cookie sheet with a Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat or a large piece of wax paper. 2. Spread the cookie and pretzel pieces evenly onto the mat or wax paper. 3. Melt the white chocolate – either in the microwave* or over a double boiler – until smooth and fully melted. (*Anytime you melt chocolate in the microwave, it’s best to heat the chocolate in 30-second time increments, then stop to stir the chocolate before heating it more. Chocolate melts very quickly in the microwave and it can easily burn!)

4. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the cookie-pretzel mixture, making sure it evenly coats the cookie and pretzel pieces. If necessary, use a spatula to evenly spread the melted chocolate. 5. While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle the candy pieces and sprinkles evenly over the chocolate, pushing the candy down a bit if necessary to make sure that it is embedded in the melted chocolate. 6. Let cool until the chocolate firms up. Peel the bark from the Silpat mat or wax paper and break into small pieces. 7. Store in an air tight container.





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HEGWOOD LAWGROUP Trusts | Estates | Probate | Elder Law | Family


950 Gemini Street | Suite 6, Houston, TX | 77058


1 Mowing Lawns and Waiting Tables 2 Did You Hear About the Dog Food Burglar?

What Romeo and Juliet Can Teach Us About Estate Planning

3 A Tail of Bravery

Chocolate Cookie Candy Pretzel Bark

4 Join Us!


Workshop: ‘How to Plan for Children With Disabilities’ When: July 10; 6:30 p.m. Where: Hegwood Law Group offices Free admission

Workshop: ‘To Probate or Not to Probate’ When: July 30; 6:30 p.m. Where: Hegwood Law Group offices Free admission

Through our FREE workshop this month titled “How to Plan for Children With Disabilities,” we can help you find the assistance you need and show you how to ensure your child’s special needs will be met when you are gone or no longer able to serve as their primary caregiver. The workshop will take place at 6:30 p.m. in our office.

Next month, we will be hosting our “To Probate or Not to Probate: Everything You Need to Know About Probate in Texas” workshop. To get answers to all your questions about complex issues related to probate in our great Lone Star State, come check out this workshop. It is FREE and will take place at 6:30 p.m. in our office.

Workshop: ‘10 Gruesome Estate Planning Mistakes’ When: July 23; 6:30 p.m. Where: Hegwood Law Group offices Free admission

Unlike many other practices, Hegwood Law Group focuses only on estate planning and related issues. Not only are our skills in this area finely tuned, but our attorneys are fully experienced in this aspect of the law. To help address any concerns you might have, we are hosting a FREE estate planning workshop titled “10 Gruesome Estate Planning Mistakes” at 6:30 p.m. in our office.



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