I wear a lot of hats. I don't mean I have lots of responsibilities, I mean I wear. a. lot. of. hats. Three fedoras, two driving caps, two Panamas, two cowboy hats, a couple of baseball caps, one Air Force ORF cap - that's what happens when you spend too many years in the tropics and South Texas without enough (or any) sunscreen. I've had enough stuff cut, frozen and burned off my face and scalp to last a lifetime.
However, I - and probably you as well - wear a lot of hats in the colloquial sense as well. So do a lot of our clients. For example,
In a business formation, a client can be -
- a partner, member, shareholder, AND
- an officer, director, employee, manager
In estate planning and/or probate, a client can be all of the following:
- a beneficiary,
- an executor,
- a trustee,
- an agent under power of attorney (financial or medical)
Keeping in mind which hat you have on can be critical if, for example, you own a business and you're buying stuff for your personal use but using a company credit card to do so - if it's a forgot-my-personal-card-and-need-this-now situation, make sure you turn in the receipt and reimburse the company for what you spent. And make sure it's not a regular occurrence - you're vulnerable to a claim that you're using the company as your personal piggy-bank and somebody suing your company could "pierce the corporate veil" and come after your personal assets.
Here's another one we see pretty regularly: "My dad died last week, but I have his power of attorney so I'm going to sell his car". Nope. Your agent-under-power-of-attorney hat goes up in smoke when the person who gave it to you (the "principal") dies. If you're also the executor under the will, you can use that hat AFTER the probate court issues letters testamentary to you, but not before. If you also have a beneficiary hat on your hat rack, you could be liable under a legal concept called "self-dealing" if you distribute money to yourself with your executor hat on, but don't distribute to other beneficiaries.
A related hat issue is when you use your mom's financial POA to transfer property from her to yourself. No can do, Podnah - that's also a breach of fiduciary duty.
So, hats are cool (or warm, depending), but each carries both rights and responsibilities. Make sure you're wearing the right hat for the activity in which you are engaging!
As always, the above is legal information, not legal advice, and it's based on Texas law because I'm a Texas lawyer. If you have questions about your various hats, talk with an attorney experienced in your area of hat-wearing!
Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint...
There's a quote I have reflected on over the last few months: "Adversity doesn't build character, it reveals it." It's equal parts cynical and fatalistic, I suppose, and we have certainly seen a lot of people disappoint us with their actions, words and vitriol in response to the pressure of the last few months. In the last month alone, my wife and I have been on the receiving end of two screaming rages, in public, by people we don't even know. I know others have seen how these times affect people for the worse as well.
Paul writes in Romans 5 that "we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."
I much prefer Paul's perspective in these times, though the two are not mutually exclusive. What's the difference? Perseverance. Paul is writing to believers, people who have received the Holy Spirit, encouraging and exhorting them to rejoice not BECAUSE of their sufferings, but IN THE MIDST OF THEM. How to do that? To persevere, or (in the 60s expression), "Keep on keepin' on." Knowing that there's nothing new under the sun, that all this has happened before and will happen again, and that the two greatest commandments apply no matter our circumstances: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. And cultivate a heart of hope. Bless y'all, stay safe, be strong and of good courage.
Musings, observations, the occasional whineage and some funny stuff.