Sunday, September 25, 2022

Squeaky hinges and wills


One of the few things a trip to an attorney is unlikely to fix is a squeaky hinge.  

I once heard that the constant irritant of a simple thing like a squeaky door hinge contributes in a big way to the stress in most people’s lives.  The theme was that a lot of the little things that we mean to do but never get around to, such a fixing a squeaky door hinge, replacing that burned out light bulb over the garage door or changing the AC filters long after we know we should, create a constant low-level stress in our lives.

After going through the holidays, most of us are aware that even something that is supposed to be filled with peace, love and goodwill can magnify the stress levels we all face.  Perhaps it’s a relative at a Christmas dinner that always has to have the last word, a child that spent most of their pre-holiday days whining for every toy advertised on TV or prominently displayed on the end caps at Walmart.  Maybe it was something much more serious, a bad prognosis from a doctor, a job lost many months ago and still not replaced, the realization that, once again, we overdid Christmas spending, or the realization that the tax man cometh and we can’t count on a big refund this year.

Doctors have been telling us for years that stress contributes to all kinds of ills in our lives.  We all know we have to get through the life-changing stresses – those things we can’t control – as best we can.  But, what if, by adding up all those little life stressors and eliminating them, we can reduce the same amount of stress as one big thing? 

No one likes to dwell on the shouda’s and oughta’s of life, but continually putting them off just re-irritates us every time we remember them.  In the case of a squeaky door hinge, that’s usually the middle of the night when someone gets up for a drink of water and wakes up everyone.  Fixing a squeaky door hinge always produces an immediate feeling of accomplishment.  Unfortunately, that feeling of euphoria is usually followed quickly by a realization that the time and energy it took to handle the matter pales in comparison to the days, weeks, months or even years, that we berated ourselves with a promise to fix it soon.

If one of the stressors in your life is your recurring promise to yourself and your loved ones to get a will prepared or reviewed, the beginning of a brand new year is a great time to do it.  We all have heard that probate is expensive and unwieldy.  The fact is that a probate of a well-structured will is very simple in Texas – the alternative of realizing that the death of someone close has put us in a much different financial position that we and they anticipated just because no will existed is a major problem faced unnecessarily by far too many families.  This is one of those little stressors we recommend you take care of – you will enjoy the feeling of accomplishment in getting that one item off your internal “to-do” list and knowing that your family is protected. 

Virginia A. Moore is a Flower Mound-based attorney.  She can be reached at 972-355-0800 or

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