Hegwood Law - April 2020

OCTOBER 2018 HEADLINES HEGWOOD

302-653-2411

HEGWOODLAW.COM • 281.218.0880

APRIL 2020

HEGWOOD CARES: WHAT WE’RE DOING TO PROTECT OUR FAMILIES, CLIENTS, AND STAFF DURING COVID-19

At Hegwood Law Group, we are serious about taking care of families. We are serious about our families, and we are serious about yours. That is why, as of March 17, we are continuing to closely follow the CDC and government’s guidelines for COVID-19. As such, all of our workshops and events for the month of March have been canceled. We are in the process of recording our presentations to make them accessible online so our clients may watch them at home. Even though our out-of-office activities are canceled, we are still working diligently to ensure you and your loved ones have the proper representation during these trying times. Here are a few things we are doing in our office to aid in preventing the spread of this virus:

meet you virtually if you do not feel comfortable coming to our office or are under quarantine. We can come to you. In some instances, we are available to make house visits or go to hospitals and nursing homes to put your plan in place and sign your documents. We are waiving our consultation fee until April 1, 2020, to help remove any obstacles to get your affairs in order.

We are keeping our office as sanitized as possible, which includes using only our large conference rooms to practice social distancing. While hand sanitizer is available at the front desk and restrooms, we recommend washing your hands as often as possible — this includes before and after visiting our office.

We have also asked any of our staff members to remain at home if they feel ill or show any symptoms of COVID-19, and we also ask the same of our clients. Remember: You can carry this disease while remaining healthy, but you may pass it on to someone who may not be as healthy as you. The health and well-being of our clients, families, and staff is paramount here at Hegwood Law Group, and we will continue to monitor the situation to keep you updated as best and as often as we can.

Additionally, please let us know if there is anything you may need. We are committed to doing anything we can to help you during these stressful times. If you have any questions or concerns or would like to schedule an appointment, please call our office at (281) 218-0880 or email Adam Hundley at educate@hegwoodlaw.com.

-Kim Hegwood

Phone and video conferences are available. We have flexible options to

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SOMETHING IN THE WATER Why Rob Bilott Took on DuPont

Rob Bilott never should have agreed to represent Wilbur Tennant’s case.

that went far beyond the boundaries of Tennant’s farm and into the drinking water of every American.

The cattle farmer hadpresented evidence of the strangemalady plaguing his cattle to lawyers, politicians, and veterinarians in Parkersburg, West Virginia, but no one took Tennant’s case seriously.

The letter mentioned a mysterious chemical called PFOA, and Bilott requested documentation from DuPont to find out more about it. However, the company refused, so Bilott requested a court order. Soon, dozens of disorganized boxes filled with thousands of 50-year-old files arrived at Bilott’s firm. He was worried he would not be able to find anything incriminating or even conclusive in the mess of documents, but soon, his time as an environmental lawyer helped him see the bigger picture. It became clear that DuPont had orchestrated a massive cover-up regarding their use of PFOA. PFOA is used in the manufacturing of Teflon, and the company had knowingly exposed workers and the Parkersburg water supply to it. Bilott filed a class-action suit as a medical monitoring claim on behalf of the people of Parkersburg, and, as of 2011, a probable link between PFOA and six health conditions, including two types of cancer, has been found. Because of themedical monitoring claim, plaintiffs can file personal injury lawsuits against DuPont. So far, 3,535 people have. If it were not for Bilott and Tennant, the public might have never known the dangers of PFOA.

But when Bilott saw the evidence for himself, it was clear that something was wrong.

The videos and photographs Tennant had collected showed cattle with patchy fur, growths and lesions, white slime coming from their mouths, and staggering gaits. Tennant told Bilott that the abnormal behavior and physical deformities had started after his brother Jim sold his property to DuPont, a chemical company with a big presence in Parkersburg. Jim’s property bordered on Wilbur’s, and a stream running from Jim’s property provided water for all the cattle and wildlife in the area. Since the sale, the stream had become frothy and discolored, and the animals that drank from it were sick, malformed, or dead, including 153 of Tennant’s 200 cows.

When Bilott stumbled upon a letter from DuPont to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the real horror story began to emerge — one

HAVING A LONG-TERM CARE PLAN

April is Financial Literacy Month, and so much of financial literacy is about being smart and intentional with your money. At Hegwood Law Group, we are always working to make sure our clients understand how their plans, or lack thereof, might impact their finances, including the often-overlooked long-term care plan. The expense of long-term care, particularly in a skilled nursing facility, can be exorbitant, and a plan taking that cost into consideration is essential to protect your legacy. We work with our clients on a broad range of commonly encountered long-term care issues, like planning for incapacity (living wills and advance medical directives), arranging for home care, qualifying for public benefits, protecting assets, selecting the right nursing home, and assigning guardianships/conservatorships. It is not fun stuff to think about, but we are committed to protecting your legal rights so you can continue to enjoy a high quality of life long into old age.

At Hegwood Law Group, we practice law because we have been called to do so. We understand how overwhelming it can be to deal with the issues associated with aging, and we will offer you all the compassion, knowledge, and attention you deserve. If you need a push to get going on your long-term care planning, let Financial Literacy Month be it. Building a strong plan is essential to protect your legacy. Visit our website at Hegwoodlaw.com to get started today.

2 HEGWOOD LAW GROUP

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SAVE THE PLANET WITH YOUR PLATE

The Top 3 Ways to Eat Eco-Friendly

It can be difficult to see the connection between your plate and the planet, but scientists say that eating less red meat and processed foods can greatly reduce your environmental impact. About 25% of climate change today is fueled by agriculture and factory farming, particularly the large quantities of the greenhouse gas methane that cows produce. This means that the fewer animal products you consume, the more sustainable your diet will be. Producing and packaging beef is 100 times more emissions-intensive than producing legumes. While a lack of protein is a common concern about plant-based diets, many dietary experts say that plant- based diets can meet nutritional needs. Also, proteins aren’t the only nutrient your body needs, and dozens of vegetables and starches can offer a combination of proteins that are as complete and healthy as beef or chicken. With April being Keep America Beautiful Month, here are some eco-friendly diet adjustments anyone can make to help preserve the planet.

Eat Plant-Based Diets The main goal of a plant-based diet is to replace animal products as the centerpiece of the meal. At least three-fourths of your meal should be vegetarian, but you don’t necessarily need to cut meat out altogether. For example, eating a Mediterranean diet can be very sustainable. Red meat is rare, and there is a strong focus on legumes and vegetables. Adopt Meatless Mondays or Mornings If you are not ready to commit to a plant-based diet, going vegetarian one day a week can be a great option. Adopting a plant-based diet one day a week or eliminating meat from one meal a day is a great way to reduce meat consumption.

Go Flexitarian If you want to eat more vegetarian meals but find animal products are too hard to give up, going flexitarian is a good compromise. A flexitarian eats mainly plant- based dishes but also includes a modest amount of poultry, fish, milk, and eggs with a limited amount of red meat. If you’re able to dedicate even just one week to trying a plant-based diet, it can help you get a feel for if you are capable of making the switch. You may even realize that it is not hard to change your diet, and you might find it fun to try a whole different range of flavors through vegetarian food as you “reinvent” your favorite meaty dishes.

CHOCOLATE CAKE IN AMUG!

WORD SEARCH

Ingredients

• 15 g protein powder, or half a scoop (Jay Robb's chocolate whey protein is a good choice) • 1 tbsp 100% cocoa powder, like Hersey's Special Dark • 1/4 tsp baking powder

• 2 packets stevia (or whatever sweetener you prefer) • 1 tbsp puréed pumpkin or applesauce • 3 tbsp liquid egg whites (or 1 egg white)

directions

BUNNY DAISY EARTH EASTER

EGGS FOOL GARDEN PASSOVER

POLLEN PRANK RAMADAN TAXES

1. In a mug, mix all the dry ingredients together.

2. Stir in the wet ingredients until well combined.

3. Microwave for 1 minute. Remove from the microwave, and gently use a knife or fork to loosen the cake from the mug.

4. Serve plain or with your favorite toppings, like almond butter and banana slices!

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

PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411

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

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1 Hegwood Cares: What We Are Doing to Protect Our Families, Clients, and Staff During COVID-19 2 The Lawyer Who Took on a Multibillion-Dollar Company Do Not Put Your Legacy on the Line 3 Eco-Friendly Diets Chocolate Cake in a Mug 4 Hegwood Happenings: Digital Workshops

HEGWOOD HAPPENINGS: DIGITAL WORKSHOPS

At Hegwood Law Group, we are passionate about helping our clients plan for and cope with the later years of life. Even if it’s just for rehabilitation after a surgery, statistics say that 80% of the population will eventually find themselves in a nursing home. Given the likelihood, it makes sense to have a plan in place. Our attorneys understand that planning for old age is stressful, and they are ready to listen, empathize, and advocate for your financial, legal, physical, and emotional well-being. We work with our clients to understand their Social Security benefits, help with Medicare and Medicaid planning, and assist with other government entitlement programs. The pathway to accessing these benefits can be convoluted, and working with an experienced attorney can relieve a lot of the stress of doing so. Our attorneys also set up conservatorships and guardianships in case you or somebody you love is incapacitated. At Hegwood Law, our elder law attorneys are also estate planning attorneys, and as such, we specialize in preparing wills and trusts. We truly have the expertise to serve all your needs as you move forward into old age, from putting in protections to safeguard your

personal well-being to developing asset protection plans that will preserve your legacy.

If you’re interested in learning more about elder law, check out our website. We are committed to providing safe, informative information to our clients and will be providing free workshops digitally to enjoy from home. We are continuing to record and upload new workshops, so check back for new videos. Visit HegwoodLaw.com to learn more.

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