Douglass & Runger Attorneys at Law - May 2020

May 2020

Dedicated and Compassionate MY MOM THIS MOTHER’S DAY

My mom is the source of my constant desire to grind and work hard. Anyone who knows me knows I put everything into the work I do, but I only do this because my mom taught me how. I love the work I do every day, and thanks to my mom, I never quit. Mom always went above and beyond for her students. She gave every ounce of herself to teaching, regardless of how her students treated her or how much they cared about English. And I know for a fact that she has made an impact on many of her students’ lives. She’s kept in touch with a number of them, and I frequently hear them tell my mom that she was a great teacher who changed their lives. But it’s not just the students she taught who felt the impact of my mom’s kindness and dedication — it’s anyone my mom hears about. I vividly remember the day I came home from school and told her that my high school German teacher was struggling after a near-breakdown in class. My mom took what I said and decided to do something about it, becoming my teacher’s “grateful parent,” sending anonymous flowers and encouraging notes her way. My teacher never found out who was behind those touching notes, but she beamed in class. She thanked whoever was behind it, and you could tell my mom had made a difference in my teacher’s life. Yet she never wanted credit. Today, my mom’s selfless nature continues. She’s a wonderful grandma to my niece and nephew, and she’s a fervent supporter of nonprofit work. I once had to take the cat of a client who had passed away to a humane society in Mississippi, and when I told my mom about this, she immediately found the organization online, donated to it, and started supporting it from afar on Facebook. She never even met the cat! Sometimes this very compassionate nature and a drive for perfection can hurt Mom, but I couldn’t imagine her any other way. To say I have a mom who always places the needs of others first, has impacted thousands of lives, and continues to do so is a great source of pride for me.

If you have ever been to the Douglass & Runger Law office, then you may have skimmed a binder full of newspaper comics poking fun at attorneys. Maybe you even laughed at a few jokes! We know visiting us can be nerve-wracking, and we believe a little humor can go a long way in easing your fears.

But we can’t take all the credit for this collection of comics. That actually belongs to my mom.

Mom began clipping out newspaper comics and organizing them in scrapbooks for us in 2004. For years that book has sat in our office, eliciting some laughs and ensuring our clients feel comfortable with our team. But I’d expect nothing less from a woman who never quits and endlessly goes out of her way to help others. I feel incredibly lucky to have a mom like mine. She has a great sense of humor and quick wit to match. My mom taught high school English for 40 years, and when she retired, I knew she wouldn’t adjust to a fully retired lifestyle very easily. So, she now teaches English at the local community college in Knoxville. I don’t think Mom has ever stopped working. She would come home after a long day at work, make sure the house was clean, come to our sporting events, and more. She made it all look easy, but she’s a perfectionist and the most efficient person I have ever met.

Plus, as the binder in our office shows, she appreciates the value of a good laugh.

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom and to all the moms out there!

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HAS BREAKFAST IN BED GONE OUT OF STYLE? What Moms Really Want on Mother’s Day

Serving breakfast in bed to moms, especially on Mother’s Day, has been a widespread tradition for years, but have you ever wondered if it’s what your mom really wants? Here’s a look at the Mother’s Day breakfast in bed tradition and some recent insight into the popular trend. According to Heather Arndt Anderson, author of “Breakfast: A History,” the popularity of breakfast in bed became widespread during the Victorian era, but only for married, wealthy women who had servants. Those women would enjoy their first meal of the day in bed, and then their servants would handle all the spilled scone crumbs and messy breakfast residue. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson dubbed Mother’s Day a national U.S. holiday, and a few years later, the aristocratic English tradition of breakfast in bed sailed across the pond to America. By the 1930s, food and bedding companies capitalized on the tradition and the new holiday by running ads in magazines and newspapers encouraging

children and fathers to serve their matriarchs breakfast in bed. Since then, serving mothers breakfast in bed has become a popular Mother’s Day ritual around the world, and it remains so today. However, there is one group whose voice has been left out of the breakfast in bed conversation: mothers. In a recent study conducted by Zagat, a well- known dining survey site, researchers found that only 4% of moms polled want breakfast in bed. Yes, you read that right. When you factor

in the mess of syrup, crumbs, and coffee spilling over clean sheets, it’s understandable. Today’s mothers usually don’t have servants to clean up afterward. The study also revealed what most moms prefer to do for breakfast on Mother’s Day: 53% of mothers like to go out, and 39% prefer brunch instead of breakfast. While breakfast in bed seems like a nice gesture, statistics show that it’s probably the last thing your mom wants to wake up to on May 10. This Mother’s Day, show your appreciation for your mom or the mother of your children by asking her what she would like to do. She deserves the holiday morning she desires, whether that includes a full breakfast in bed or carryout from her favorite brunch joint.

Looking for a Benefactor? What you do with your assets upon your death is completely up to you.


Alpha Omega has already assisted 10,000 veterans, and your donation could help Alpha Omega help the next thousand. To learn more or donate, visit

The Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County This one’s for the pet lovers. Since 1933, our local humane society has served as a sanctuary for injured and abused cats and dogs. The Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County has gained a reputation for its specialty in rehabilitating and finding homes for pets who have survived abuse. With help from volunteers, these pets learn social skills and gain the affection all living beings need. Visit to learn how your donation could save dozens of lives. Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis Memphis is a community filled with people from all walks of life. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis seek to make connections among the many diverse members of our community and give kids a safe and positive place to grow. With academic help, outdoor activities, mentorships, and more, children in the Memphis area can find a positive connection to our greater community and their peers. A donation to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis could change many lives and make our community even stronger. Visit to find out more about their mission and how your donation will help the organization.

Some like to leave the bulk of their assets to their loved ones, while others prefer to donate a significant portion to local organizations that made an impact on their lives. If you’re thinking about adding a charity to your list of benefactors, then consider these local groups!

Alpha Omega Veterans Services, Inc. Without veterans, we wouldn’t enjoy the freedoms we have today. Honor that commitment by helping soldiers and veterans return to civilian life through Alpha Omega Veterans Services, Inc. In 1987, a mother started Alpha Omega after her sons returned from the Vietnam War and could not find services for their PTSD. Today, the organization can house 120 veterans and offers reintegration programs ranging from 30 days to two years.

To add one of these nonprofits — or another one that’s close to your heart — to your estate plan, contact our team today by calling 901-388-5805.

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Prime Rib


Who says the cookout has to ruin your diet? Try this paleo-friendly recipe for a main dish that’s worthy of your next barbecue INGREDIENTS:

•1 1/2 lbs beef rib roast

Death isn’t an easy topic for anyone, but deciding what should happen after you die while you’re still living can be one of the most thoughtful actions you take for your family. Establishing an estate plan ensures your family knows what to do with your assets, who’s in charge of said assets, and what your goals and hopes are for your family and friends after you pass. Estate planning is a term that’s thrown around quite often in the discussion of care for older adults, but what does it really mean? Creating an estate plan involves establishing trusts, wills, and plans for after your death, but it can also entail plans while you are still living. For example, establishing a power of attorney ensures you have someone you trust who can make decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated and unable to do so. Some people want to establish trusts, which can house and protect many of your assets during your lifetime and can keep your loved ones from going through the probate process after you pass. Additionally, establishing a will allows you to set forth your preferences regarding who exactly will receive your assets upon your death. If you die without a will, then Tennessee courts consider that you died “intestate,” which means that your assets will be distributed to your heirs at law. The potential problem with this is that you may not want all of your heirs at law to receive your property after you die, but you will have no control over this situation because you did not prepare a valid will during your life time. Establishing a will outlines your wishes and allows you to carefully designate who should get what upon your death. It makes your family’s grieving process following your death much easier because they will not have to worry about your assets in addition to mourning. If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s the importance of being prepared. Establishing an estate plan is a great first step to being prepared, but the next step is to continually update your plan. For example, if you purchase a new home in retirement or if you are no longer close with the person you designated as your power of attorney, then you will want to make changes to reflect that in your estate plan. The legal team at Douglass & Runger can help you adjust your estate plan as your life changes and support your family upon your passing. In addition, our team covers a variety of legal services, including family and civil cases. Learn more and begin your planning process with us at

•1 tsp Himalayan salt

•1/2 tsp black pepper


1. Take rib roast out of the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to grilling.

2. Season roast with salt and pepper and allow it to rest for 10 minutes while you heat a gas grill to 600 F.

3. Sear roast for 3–4 minutes on each side.

4. Turn off the grill but continue cooking the steak, flipping every 4–5 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 125 F. Remove from grill. 5. Allow the roast to rest — its internal temperature will continue to climb — for 5–10 minutes. Slice and serve. “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger — something better, pushing right back.” –Albert Camus Inspired by Primal Palate INSPIRATION

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2820 Summer Oaks Drive Bartlett, TN 38134 901-388-5805


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Inside This Issue

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My Mom: The Most Efficient and Caring Person I’ve Ever Met Has Breakfast in Bed Gone Out of Style? 3 Memphis Nonprofits You Can Make Your Benefactor! Why Estate Planning (and Updating Your Plan) Matters Grilled Prime Rib The Best Technology for Graduates



SAY CONGRATULATIONS With These Tech Gifts for Grads

Spring is all about new beginnings, and for many, graduation is just the start of something big. Whether your favorite graduate is heading off to college, enlisting to serve in our nation’s military, or joining the workplace, there’s a gadget out there that will give them a great start — or at least make you their favorite relative. Check out this guide to find the perfect tech gift. For the Audio Lover From wireless headphones that surround you with sound to Bluetooth speakers that offer crystal-clear quality, the options are endless when it comes to choosing an audio device. But before purchasing the “next best thing,” consider the person who will use it. If your graduate exercises frequently, they may want wireless headphones like Apple’s AirPods or one of the many Samsung varieties. On the flip side, if they enjoy action movies, a great sound bar for their entertainment system just might do the trick. For the Streamer There’s no shortage of streaming services, and depending on what your graduate enjoys watching, you may consider

gifting them a subscription. Nostalgic Disney lovers looking for some stress relief would certainly love a Disney+ subscription, but if you know someone who has an affinity for the dramatic sagas, a subscription to HBO Now could satisfy their cravings. Hulu + Live TV can also be a great alternative for a grad who is out of the house! The best part is that this gift keeps on giving with every movie or show they stream. For the Academic This May will mark the start of a new academic adventure for many. AI systems like the Amazon Alexa and Google Home can make staying in touch and studying easier, while an e-reader could house all their textbooks in one handy place. Laptop cases, screen covers, and other protective gear can keep their technology safe from wear and tear. (After all, what college kid can afford a new laptop on a whim?) Charging stations and cord organizers can also protect their tech and keep their space clean.

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