Hegwood Law - February 2020




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THE BEST — ANDWORST — VALENTINE’S DAY GIFTS This Year, Give the Gift of Real Love

I t is Valentine’s Day again, and if you are lucky, you have a thoughtful partner to spoil, and to be spoiled by, this year. For everybody else — for all those gas station rose-getters (and givers) out there — this list of V-Day gift do’s and do not's is for you. V-Day Gift Do Not's If you can get it at the Shell station, folks, it is a bad idea. Reddit user u/Etcetera7 wrote that her partner stopped to pick up “… a single fake flower and a pack of peanut butter cups” on his way to her house. She reported she lives near the station these duds came from, and she had seen the fake roses earlier that same day. He did try again, though. Later, he picked up some earrings and a necklace. But if you think he redeemed himself there, think again! This Redditor did not have her ears pierced, adding insult to injury. Nothing screams lazy like a store-bought card with a canned message and your name signed inside. But Redditor u/Knowingcat wrote in 2012 that her worst V-Day gift ever came in the form of a completely blank card. Her significant other claimed he did not know what to write, so he opted for the worst possible choice: nothing at all. If you are going with a store-bought card, at least give your partner the dignity of a signature.

Another Redditor wrote they got a bottle of ancient perfume for Valentine’s Day. As if the complete lack of effort were not enough, this user writes she thought the perfume had once belonged to … wait for it … her boyfriend’s mother. Finally, u/Soon2Barmn wrote her father gave her mother a set of jumper cables for Valentine’s Day one year. Apparently, the offending husband was in the doghouse for a couple of nights, but about a week later, Mom’s battery died. Maybe jumper cables were not so bad after all! V-Day Gift Do’s It is always best to do something near and dear to your loved one’s heart, but if the heat is on and you are still not sure what to get, classic gifts like red roses and jewelry are good ideas guaranteed to keep you in your partner's good graces. And while we are on the topic of showing your loved ones you care, consider talking with them about your long-term plans this Valentine’s Day. When my former father-in-law passed away, he had not planned. My former husband had to spend weeks combing through years of accumulated papers. His father was meticulous in keeping everything, but because

he had not planned, all those documents only made it harder.

Instead of grieving his father’s passing, my former husband had to spend that time trying to figure out how he was going to pay to take care of my mother-in-law, who was not able to live alone anymore. It was heartbreaking. I see this sort of thing all the time in my practice. When people do not plan, the last thing their children have to do for them is stressful and difficult. Instead of focusing on treasured memories and the love they shared with a parent, kids end up focused on chasing documents and sorting through years of accumulated papers. Oftentimes, they end up spending money on things they did not need to pay for or missing out on payments they did not know they had coming. So, this Valentine’s Day, give the gift of real love: Make a plan. That is the best way to show your loved ones they are precious to you even long after you are gone.



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‘Ocean’s 3’ Attempt a High-Stakes Heist

No Minor Crime

On a hot summer day in late July 2018, three people entered Miss Helen’s home, forcibly removed her, put her in a stroller, and ran toward their getaway vehicle. This might sound like a typical kidnapping story, but Miss Helen is no ordinary person. She is a 16- inch horn shark living at the San Antonio Aquarium. Fortunately, their fishy behavior did not go unnoticed, and someone alerted the aquarium staff. One perpetrator drove away with Miss Helen in tow, but the other two were stopped by aquarium staff, later confessing to their involvement. Thanks to some observant witnesses and aquarium surveillance, police were able to identify the third thief and obtain a warrant to search his house. As it turned out, he had an extensive aquarium in his home and possibly hoped to add Miss Helen to his collection. After being identified, Miss Helen was returned home safely. The aquarium staff was grateful to have Miss Helen back unharmed, despite her ordeal. “She’s a tough little horn shark, I’ll tell you that,” affirmed Jamie Shank, the assistant husbandry director at the aquarium.

While many animal lovers might disagree, animals are considered personal property, so stealing them

is a crime of theft, not kidnapping. The penalties for stealing animals vary depending on each state’s laws, and some states have specific laws regarding animal theft. In Texas, larceny law designates the theft of property valued between $1,500–$20,000 as a felony. In the case of Miss Helen, who is valued by the aquarium at $2,000, the thieves committed a felony. Also, transporting certain animals requires special permits, which led to additional charges against the three thieves. The Animal Welfare Act, which was adopted in 1966, is the only federal law that regulates the treatment of animals in research, exhibition, transport, and by dealers. Interestingly, it only applies to warm- blooded animals, so if Miss Helen had needed further protection, she would be left out in the cold.


Putting together an end-of-life plan is not a fun thing to think about. The only thing less fun is imagining your loved ones trying to navigate a twisted web of assets and debts in the wake of your passing. In that spirit, here are a few key things to consider when making your end-of-life plan. List Your Accounts Even if your documents only sit in a file somewhere, list all of your accounts in one central location and make sure somebody knows where and how to find those documents. You may also consider including essential titles — think real estate and auto — in this location, along with any legal documents you might have. Communicate Clearly Make sure your wishes are crystal clear to your loved ones. A will is one of the most essential estate planning documents available to ensure your property goes where you want it to go when you pass. Be explicit about who is supposed to inherit what. If you like to keep some or all of your assets in cash, consider dividing

that up into different boxes and writing the inheritor’s name on each box. This may feel cold, but being deliberate and clear about who gets what prevents confusion and saves your loved ones from having to painfully deliberate about your wishes. Keep It Current

Once a year, review your documents and make sure everything is still up to date and accurately reflects your wishes. Doing this annually is much easier than repeating the process once things have fallen out of date. This is also an excellent time to make sure you have the correct beneficiaries listed with insurance and financial institutions. Planning can be emotionally draining, but not having a plan in place sets the stage to complicate and extend your family’s grief. This year, in the month of love, take the time to put your affairs in order. Thinking about the needs of your loved ones and planning ahead to take care of them — that is what real love looks like.


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GET THE BEST SHOT Products for Better Pictures Chances are, a few months ago you or someone you love exclaimed, “I cannot believe the year is already over!” Time really does fly, so why not capture the best moments of 2020 before it is gone? Whether you are a budding photographer or just looking to take your Instagram game to the next level, these products will help you snap crisp pics of all of your adventures. Going Pro With the Nikon D3500 If you have dreamed of getting serious about photography but have been intimidated by all the pricey gear, this is the camera for you! Lightweight and packing a 24.2-megapixel sensor, the D3500 embodies everything an entry-level camera should be: high-quality and simple. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of cutting-edge models, it does have a much more affordable price tag. Easy to handle and extremely forgiving in low-light conditions, this camera is perfect for exploring the fundamentals of photography without breaking the bank.

Phoning It In With the Halide Camera App

Living in the Moment With the FujiFilm Instax Mini 9 Classic movies are not the only thing getting rebooted. FujiFilm is bringing back the simple joy of instant photography with film-fed cameras that can snap and print with ease. The Mini 9 is by far their most affordable option, leaving you with more cash to spend on film. Sure, the image quality takes a hit, but that just adds to the retro feel of the images!

If you have an iPhone and just want to get the most out of its built-in camera, then great photos are just a download away. Halide is an app that brings professional-level control and detail to your device without any added hardware by providing you with digital tools, such as more granular focus and exposure controls, that let you capture your ideal image. Better still, the app lets you save photos as RAW files, meaning they are not compressed like JPEGs. Download Halide on the App Store today; at only $6.99, your wallet will thank you.

DATE TRUFFLES Valentine’s Day is all about love … and chocolate. Enjoy these chocolate peanut butter date truffles with your date this Valentine’s Day.



• 1 lb medjool dates, pitted (about 1 1/2 cups) • 1/2 tsp sea salt • Warm water

• 1/4 cup peanut butter • 1 cup bittersweet or dark chocolate, chopped • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted


1. Using a food processor, blend dates and sea salt until dough can be formed into a ball. Slowly add enough warm water to mixture to thicken dough. 2. Roll dough into tablespoon-sized balls. Freeze for 20–30 minutes. 3. In microwave, warm 1/4 cup peanut butter for 30 seconds, then drizzle peanut butter on top of balls. Freeze balls for another 20 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in microwave, warm chocolate with coconut oil until melted. Stir well. 5. Coat balls in chocolate and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. 6. Top with additional salt and freeze for 30 minutes. Serve at room temperature.






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


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


1 Valentine’s Day: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

2 A Slippery Crime

3 Key Estate Planning Essentials

3 Products for Better Pictures

Date Truffles

4 Houston Happenings in February


2020 Rodeo in the Park When: Saturday, Feb. 8; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Where: Kelsey Seybold Clinic – Main Campus Admission: Free The Houston 2020 Rodeo in the Park, presented

members have also been featured in “Ocean’s Eleven.” The Peking Acrobats hold the world record for the Human Chair Stack and have been performing since their founding in 1986. The Art of the Brick When: Now through March 29, 2020

by the Houston General Go Texan Committee, is back. This event features free soda, popcorn, and hot dogs as well as a broad range of entertainment for the whole family. Round up the little cowboys and cowgirls and head on down for fun for the whole family!

Where: Houston Museum of Natural Science Admission: $30 adult, $21 children and seniors

The Art of the Brick exhibit is named one of CNN’s top 10 “Global Must-See Exhibitions,” and if you are a LEGO lover, this one is a must- see for sure. The Art of the Brick is the largest collection of LEGO art

Peking Acrobats When: Saturday, Feb. 22; 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Where: Jones Hall Admission: $29 and up

ever made, and its content stretches from LEGO recreations of classic works of art like Vincent van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” to original pieces by Nathan Sawaya. Sawaya, who worked previously as a corporate lawyer, is well known for his large sculptures, and many of the pieces in the show were built starting back in 2002.

The Peking Acrobats provide fun for the whole family with their fast-paced and gravity-defying performance. These renowned Chinese acrobats have graced screens from “The Wayne Brady Show" to “Ellen’s Really Big Show.” Company



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