Hegwood Law - January 2019



HEGWOODLAW.COM • 281-218-0880


PROCRASTINATION: What It Is, Why We Do It, and How to Avoid It in 2019

A s we start the after-Christmas process of taking down the festive twinkly lights from our houses and packing away the ornaments and stockings, many people put on their favorite Christmas movie as a kind of last holiday hurrah before the new year sets in. One that often comes to mind for me is “A Christmas Carol,” based on the short novel by Charles Dickens. Dickens famously wrote, “My advice is to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.” Especially during the month of January — the time for goal-setting and resolution- making — this quote is particularly relevant. Procrastination is not a novel idea. Human beings have been procrastinating for centuries. The problem is so timeless, in fact, that ancient Greek philosophers like Socrates and Aristotle developed a word to describe this type of behavior: akrasia. Essentially, this means we often act against our better judgment, like when you do one thing even though you know you should do something else.

phenomenon, why does it keep occuring? To answer this question, behavioral-psychology research points to “time inconsistency,” a term which helps explain why procrastination seems to lure us in despite our good intentions. In short, time inconsistency implies that we value immediate rewards in the present over potential rewards in the future. Over the years, I’ve noticed that procrastination is not only the thief of time; it is the No. 1 reason that my clients feel stressed throughout the year. For example, because estate planning can be a difficult topic, people tend to put it off. In reality, though, being proactive regarding your assets should be at the top of your priority list because it is one of the tasks that matters most. Yes, it’s easy to ignore it and focus on other goals with more immediate rewards, but the truth is that estate planning, or the lack thereof, affects everybody in your life. In fact, there have been numerous times when families have come into my office after a loved one has passed and have been confused and upset. No plans had been made and no documents were created to help them carry out their loved one’s wishes for their legacy. Taking action to properly plan can be one of the best things you can do for your family. As we start 2019, making the choice to avoid procrastination when possible might be an ideal resolution to set for yourself. One scientifically proven way to accomplish this is to make your goals or tasks more achievable. When it comes to planning for the future, my

team and I can help make protecting your loved ones and assets far easier by walking you through the necessary steps. Get started now, so you can spend the rest of 2019 with the peace of mind and assurance that you are living by Dickens’ advice and making the most of every day.

“‘My advice is to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.’”

Anybody who suffers from procrastination knows that it often wreaks major havoc on your life. Yet, it still continues to affect millions of people’s daily habits. If it’s a negative

-Kim Hegwood



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PUTTING THE ‘PAIN’ IN CHAMPAGNE Spontaneously Ejecting Cork Causes Lawsuit

For many people, preparing for the New Year’s countdown is the most exhilarating part of the holiday season. You tune your TV to the Times Square ball drop, hand out party hats, confetti, and noisemakers, and meticulously line up some champagne flutes. What’s left to do? Pop open the champagne! There are many partiers who pop the cork with enthusiastic and careless abandon, while others point the bottle away from their faces and anxiously twist the cork until they hear those bubbles surge to the surface. Turns out, while the latter practice may be slightly less fun, it’s certainly the safer approach. On April 8, 1978, Charles J. Murray was injured when a natural cork stopper spontaneously ejected from a bottle of previously unopened Almaden Blanc de Blancs champagne and struck him in the left eye. He was preparing to serve the bubbly to a party of 40 people, so he placed 12 bottles on a rolling cart and removed the foil and wire retainer from three or four bottles — including the one that eventually injured him. Once he started to roll the cart toward the guests, the cork shot out of the bottle all on its own. Due to the severity of his injury, Murray sued Almaden Vineyards, Inc., National Distillers and Chemical Corporation, and Carbo, Inc., alleging that they were responsible because they failed to include a proper

warning label on the bottle. The defendants, however, argued that the cork stopper did not and could not spontaneously eject unless Murray had handled the bottle improperly. The case was argued by both sides for two years, but eventually, Murray won. Almaden Vineyards now prints the following on its bottles: “WARNING: THIS BOTTLE IS UNDER PRESSURE. THE STOPPER WILL EJECT SOON AFTER THE WIRE HOOD REMOVAL. TO PROTECT AGAINST INJURY TO FACE AND EYES, POINT AWAY FROM SELF AND OTHERS WHEN OPENING.”

When it comes to bubbly-induced mayhem, the greatest potential trouble lies in the eye of the beholder — literally. With an estimated velocity of 60 miles per hour, uncontrolled corks do in fact fly faster than the blink of an eye. To avoid having to explain a not-so-fashionable eye patch at work on Monday, handle those fizzy drinks with care.


Protect Your Assets and Take Care of Your Loved Ones

Everyone knows that the new year is a good time to set new goals. Whether these goals are small, like only eating ice cream once a week, or big, like making plans to travel more often, January is the optimal time to take stock of the previous year and evaluate ways in which you want to make the most of your time and better your life overall. Choosing to be proactive in your estate planning is one goal that a great number of people avoid, but one that is absolutely vital. Our team understands that this type of planning can be uncomfortable, since it necessitates facing your own mortality. But working with an attorney to ensure that you have the correct documents in place is the only way you can guarantee that your assets will be protected and your loved ones will be taken care of.

• A will to designate your beneficiaries, name your executor, and select a guardian for your children if you and your spouse both pass away or are incapacitated

• A durable power of attorney for finances to designate someone to take over your financial matters if you die or become incapacitated

• A living will (advance directive) to spell out your end-of-life wishes

• A medical power of attorney to name someone who will ensure that your health care wishes are honored

We understand that all the legal terminology included in these documents can be overwhelming. For this reason, our team takes the time to know each and every client’s personal situation. As you describe your future wants and needs to us, we pay careful attention so that we can word each document precisely as you wish and help you make wise (and legal) decisions about your legacy. If you or someone you know wants help with their goal setting in 2019, please don’t hesitate to give our office a call!

One way to be proactive and take control of your future in 2019 is to prepare the following documents:


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Listen to Something New The Best Podcasts to Start in 2019 Though podcasts have been around for over a decade, they have only recently found their stride in popular culture. And they don’t all feature nerds talking about “Game of Thrones.” In this form of audio entertainment, there really is something for everyone. A number of podcasts have broken into mainstream pop culture, like “My Favorite Murder,” “This American Life,” and NPR’s “Planet Money.” But these are only the tip of the iceberg. Here are a few lesser-known podcasts that are seriously worth your time. Start Something Fun: ‘Spirits’ The title “Spirits” is a play on the stories told and drinks enjoyed on this podcast. Co-hosts Amanda McLoughlin and Julia Schifini offer a fresh take on myths, legends, and folklore. From Greek classics to the tale of the Javanese Mermaid Queen, these lifelong friends and mythology enthusiasts examine what the stories we tell say about our culture, traditions, and values. If you’re eager to fill your year with something kinda creepy and kinda cool, you can’t go wrong with “Spirits.” Start listening at SpiritsPodcast.com. Go on an Adventure: ‘The Far Meridian’ Audio dramas are back and thriving in the world of podcasts. “The Far Meridian” explores the story of Peri, a lighthouse keeper whose brother disappeared long ago. Peri is terrified of leaving her home, so she’s never discovered what happened to him. That changes when her lighthouse begins to appear in a new location every morning, initiating her search for her brother. Fantastically fun and painfully real, this is a

story about the courage it takes to leave home behind. Join the girl in the lighthouse at TheFarMeridian.com. Tackle Your New Year’s Resolutions: ‘The Marie Forleo Podcast’ We all need some advice. Why not get it from someone who knows what they’re talking about? Marie Forleo is an entrepreneur, writer, and philanthropist. And according to Oprah, she’s a thought leader for the next generation. Her mission is to help you become the person you most want to be. On the podcast, Marie and her guests discuss business, relationships, fear, love, and so much more. Get inspired at MarieForleo. com/marietv. This list is just a start to the wealth of amazing, diverse podcasts out there. News recaps, sports history, true crime, pop-culture throwbacks, and plenty more fantastic audio entertainment awaits on your phone’s podcast app. Start listening to your new obsession today!



Ingredients •

1 7-ounce jar marshmallow creme

• • • • • • • •

1 1/2 cups white sugar 2/3 cup evaporated milk

1/4 cup butter 1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups milk chocolate chips 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped nuts 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Line an 8 x 8 inch pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.

2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine marshmallow cream, sugar, evaporated milk, butter, and salt. Bring to a full boil, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. 3. Remove from heat and pour in semisweet chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan. Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours, or until firm.



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


950 Gemini Street | Suite 6 Houston, TX | 77058


1 How to Avoid Procrastination in 2019 2 Watch Out for Rogue Champagne Corks This Year

How to Properly Plan for 2019!

3 My Favorite Podcast

Aunt Teen's Creamy Chocolate Fudge

4 Hegwood Law Group’s Upcoming Events!

CHECK OUT OUR UPCOMING EVENTS! Estate and Special-Needs Planning Workshops

January 15 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. To secure your spot, please RSVP at 281- 218-0880 or email heather@hegwoodlaw.com. January 29 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 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, RSVP at 281-218-0880 or email heather@hegwoodlaw.com. February 12

If you already have plans during our January workshops, don’t fret! We are hosting a second “How to Plan for Children With Disabilities” workshop in February. It will also be FREE and take place at 6:30 p.m. in our office. To secure a spot, RSVP at 281-218-0880 or email heather@hegwoodlaw.com. February 26 If you won’t be able to attend the “10 Gruesome Estate Planning Mistakes” during the last week of January, don’t worry! We are hosting a second workshop in February. It will also be FREE and take place in our office at 6:30 p.m. To secure a spot, RSVP at 281-218-0880 or email heather@hegwoodlaw.com.



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