Recently Harold Simmons passed. He was not an extremely famous man outside the state of Texas, but he was a very successful self made man worth an estimated $10 billion dollars in September 2013. He started from scratch as both his parents were teachers who were not compensated all that well. After receiving his graduate degree in economics from the University of Texas in 1952, he worked as a bank examiner and then at a bank.
He decided to buy a drug store in 1960 and with a $95,000 loan and $5,000 of his own money, he purchased a pharmacy. Within 13 years, he had created a chain that had approximately 100 stores and he sold out for $50 million.
He then became an incredibly successful investor. He also was a large donor to the Republican party as well as to groups that were aligned with his thinking. For example in 2004, he gave $4 million to Swift Vets and POWs for truth.
His estate is in the news because his widow is seeking to have his will sealed and the probate case not open to the public. There will be a hearing on January 29 wherein a probate judge will be asked to make a ruling.
Many know that probates, like most court cases” are open to the public. It is one of the “selling points” for people to do a living trust. Ironically, for the vast majority of people who have living trusts, the public does not care much to know about the exact composition of their assets. In this case where there is a will, many would like to know all the “juicy” details, but it will depend on the judge’s ruling.