Hegwood Law - February 2019

OCTOBER 2018 HEADLINES HEGWOOD

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FEBRUARY 2019

THE POINT OF VIEWOF A HOPELESS ROMANTIC

Cupid’s Arrow Can Strike Anywhere

T his Valentine’s Day, people all across the world will turn on their televisions and find hundreds of made-for-TV films, most of which contain similar sweet plotlines. A guy and a girl walk into a bar/ library/park/airport and lock eyes. As they start talking, the conversation starts to flow, and they realize that, no matter what else is going on in their lives outside of that moment, their love is undeniable and they are truly made for each other. Some people despise these types of films. They allege that the narratives set up unrealistic relationship expectations or are drenched in over-the-top cheesy romance, but for me, it is the complete opposite. I love films with predictable, heartwarming plotlines, and I love the pairings of characters coming from completely different walks of life. What can I say? I am a hopeless romantic. “Because I am a hopeless romantic, whenever a married couple comes to meet with me, I make sure to ask each and every duo how they met.” Because I am a hopeless romantic, whenever a married couple comes to meet with me, I make sure to ask each and every duo how they met. I love hearing those stories. I have found

that, while some couples have spectacular “first meeting” stories, the vast majority think they met purely by happenstance and that their relationship had a totally random beginning. In my opinion, regardless of how allegedly normal the first encounter was, it was meant to happen. I have heard hilarious stories of couples meeting while on dates with other people and others of couples meeting at the DMV. But all of them seem to have been planned by design — those two people were simply destined to meet. To me, Cupid’s arrow can strike anywhere. In that same vein, I like Valentine’s Day and the notion of taking the time to celebrate and acknowledge those closest to you. As an elder law attorney, I cannot think of a better way to show someone you love them than by taking the time to adequately plan for your future and theirs. It demonstrates

your commitment, trustworthiness, and the extent of your concern. One of the best ways to demonstrate your love for your family is to make sure they are taken care of should, God forbid, something happen to you. As you are having dinner with your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day and showering them with the love and affection you know they deserve, I encourage you to take your holiday preparations a bit further and make a proper plan. Even as a hopeless romantic, I know how necessary it is to be practical, so be sure to reach out to our team to give your valentine the most important gift they can receive.

-Kim Hegwood

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WILD DIVORCE SETTLEMENTS 3 Times the Division of Assets Got Out of Control

When you are untying the knot, it is important to be specific about the assets you hope to walk away with. These three over-the-top divorce settlements are good examples of what not to do when dissolving your marriage.

You’ve Got to Be Kidney Me

Back in 2001, Dr. Richard Batista donated his kidney to his ailing wife, Dawnell, to save her life. Sweet, right? It was — until Dawnell filed for divorce in 2005 and Dr. Batista demanded she give back his kidney or compensate him for $1.5 million in damages. In the end, his request was thrown out in court because the kidney was a gift — and because removing it would be potentially fatal to his ex-spouse.

‘Here, My Dear’

In the divorce agreement between the late Marvin Gaye and his ex, Anna Gordy, it was decided that Anna would be paid from the royalties of Gaye’s next album since he had gone broke from his lavish spending. At first, Gaye decided he’d phone in the production, but he quickly discovered an opportunity to make a unique artistic statement: “I will give her my next album, but it will be something she will not want to play and it will be something she will not want the world to hear because I am gonna tell the world the truth.” In the end, the album was a commercial flop, though critics continue to praise its raw, emotional core.

A Half Life

When Moeun Sarim and Vat Navy decided to divorce after 18 years of marriage, Moeun apparently decided that, to keep the split equitable, he and his wife should divide their assets in half — literally. Moeun and his relatives cut the home down the middle, dismantled his portion, and hauled it away. Vat’s half was left standing with one wall missing.

RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS DAY

What It Is and How to Celebrate It

American author and motivational speaker Leo Buscaglia once said, “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Often, it is the simple acts that make the biggest impact, and it is for this reason that my team and I wanted to highlight Random Acts of Kindness Day, which takes place on Feb. 17. First created in Denver, Colorado, in 1995, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (RAK) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people, educators, and businesses spread compassion and kindness to those around them. They conduct studies to explore the scientific benefits of being kind and provide ideas, plans, stories, and educator resources to inspire people to incorporate kindness into their daily routines.

They explain that witnessing acts of kindness produces oxytocin, occasionally referred to as the “love hormone,” which aids in lowering blood pressure and improving heart health. Oxytocin also increases our self-esteem and optimism, which is extra helpful when we’re anxious or shy in social situations. RAK also suggests that offering an act of kindness to someone else increases energy levels and causes the brain’s pleasure and reward centers to light up. In addition to the individual health benefits of participating in Random Acts of Kindness Day, completing thoughtful acts for other people adds to the betterment of society. The options for kindness are abundant. You could send someone a “good morning” or “good night” text, leave quarters in the vending machine at work or the laundromat, be polite during your morning commute, leave a large tip at a restaurant, or pay for the order of the person behind you in the line for coffee. To be kind to yourself, you could take on a new hobby, write down your best qualities, clean your room, drink more water, or run/walk a 5K for a cause. Even if this is the first you have heard of Random Acts of Kindness Day, be sure to ponder some ways you can share kindness with others this month. It is such a great feeling to combine doing something good for you and for others!

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What You Did Not Know About Chocolate

Fun Facts to Wow Your Loved Ones This Valentine’s Day

Chocolate is a treat savored by people all over the world. What we know as the sweet, creamy decadence that sustains Valentine’s Day actually has greater historical and cultural significance. Fermented chocolate drinks have been dated back to as early as 350 B.C. The Aztecs believed it was the beverage of wisdom, and the Mayans saw it as something to be worshipped. While the history of chocolate is as rich as its flavor, there are some common misconceptions about the treat. Dutch chocolate does not necessarily refer to chocolate made in the Netherlands; the name refers to a specific chocolate-making process that uses the cocoa press. Before Dutch chemist and chocolate-maker C.J. van Houten invented the machine in 1828, chocolate was only used in beverages. Dutch chocolate is chocolate that has been modified with an alkalizing agent in order to produce a milder flavor, making it a fantastic option for use in baked goods, candy, and ice cream. German chocolate actually has nothing to do with the country of Germany, either. It used to be called “German’s chocolate,” named after its inventor, Sam German, an American who made sweet chocolate for baking. Adding sugar to the chocolate made it a go-to option for bakers around the world, and the base for German chocolate cake was born.

for its “melt in your mouth” quality, Swiss chocolate uses condensed milk to add a velvety texture. Many chocolate makers outside of Switzerland will refer to their interpretations of Swiss chocolate as milk chocolate instead.

For chocolate to be classified as Swiss, it has to be made in Switzerland, as chocolate-making is considered an art form in the country. Known

WORD SEARCH

HAZELNUT BERRY CHOCOLATE BARK

This easy, delicious vegan chocolate bark is the perfect Valentine’s Day treat. Make it a few days in advance, bag it up, and share it with your loved ones.

Ingredients •

7 ounces dark chocolate 1/4 cup roasted hazelnuts 1/4 cup dried cranberries 1/4 cup dried cherries

• • •

Tools: •

Candy thermometer

directions

1. Chop chocolate and place into a mixing bowl. 2. In a double boiler, melt chocolate. Stir frequently and remove from heat as needed to prevent burning. Keep chocolate under 115 F. 3. Once melted, pour chocolate into a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread evenly. 4. Add hazelnuts and dried fruits. Let sit at room temperature until set. 5. Break into shards and serve.

AQUARIUS ARROW CANDY CHOCOLATE CUPID

DATE FEBRUARY FLOWERS HEART LEAP

LOVE PISCES ROSES SWEET VALENTINE

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

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1 The Point of View of a Hopeless Romantic 2 3 Wild Divorce Settlements

On Celebrating Random Acts of Kindness Day

3 All About Chocolate

Hazelnut Berry Chocolate Bark

4 Hegwood Law Group’s Upcoming Events!

CHECK OUT OUR UPCOMING OFFICE EVENTS!

Workshop: ‘How to Plan for ChildrenWith Disabilities’ Feb. 12 If you are struggling to raise a child with a physical or developmental disability, we personally understand what obstacles and difficulties you face. Therefore, we are hosting a 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. 1st Annual Sweetheart Dance Feb. 22 Save the date for Hegwood Law Group’s first annual Sweetheart Dance. This is the perfect time for you and your loved ones to get dolled up and enjoy a wonderful night of dancing. The dance will be held at the Bay Area Community Center at 5002 East Nasa Parkway in Seabrook, Texas, at 7 p.m. Workshop: ‘To Probate or Not to Probate’ Feb. 27 This month, we will also be hosting our “To Probate or Not to Probate: Everything You Need to Know About Probate in Texas” workshop. Per usual, this workshop is FREE and will take place at 6:30 p.m. in our office.

Workshop: ‘How to Plan for ChildrenWith Disabilities’ March 12 If you already have plans during our February events, don’t fret! We are hosting a second “How to Plan for Children With Disabilities” workshop in March. It will also be FREE and take place at 6:30 p.m. in our office. Workshop: ‘10 Gruesome Estate Planning Mistakes’ March 26 Estate planning can be an uncomfortable process, but working with a compassionate, honest, and well-informed estate planning attorney can make the task go smoothly, as they can address all your concerns about your future and the future of your loved ones. 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 also fully experienced in this aspect of the law. To help address any concerns you might have, we will host a FREE estate planning workshop titled “10 Gruesome Estate Planning Mistakes” at 6:30 p.m. in our office. To secure a spot for our workshops or get tickets to the Sweetheart Dance, RSVP at 281.218.0880 or email heather@hegwoodlaw.com.

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