Keystone Law Firm - November 2023

Trust Matters NOVEMBER 2023


A YEAR OF GROWTH AND COMMUNITY AT KEYSTONE LAW Our Warm Wishes and Exciting Plans for 2024

the rest of your life. This means your cumulative tax bill can easily be calculated. We call this your total lifetime tax . Frequently, this total lifetime tax is much larger than people even realize. Suddenly, the finances you have left look less reliable; however, you can reduce your total lifetime tax in several ways and put those savings back into your pocket. Our team once worked with a couple that had a million dollars saved for their retirement, and this was meant to care for them for the rest of their lives. Yet, they discovered their total lifetime tax bill came out to $2.5 million! We looked at their finances, pulled a few strings with the help of our tried-and-true tax-saving methods, and cut down this bill to a million dollars. That’s a million dollars back in their lives! We had plenty of fun helping people figure out their total lifetime tax number and how to reduce this to the lowest number possible. If you want to know your number, you can schedule an appointment with our team. If you’ve met with us in the past and didn’t get the chance to have this service, we can make that happen for you! As for 2024, I know these Intentional Living Summits will get even bigger and better. I hope in the coming year, we can also hold even more client and community events! We’re even in the midst of a new partnership with a new charity we can’t wait to reveal. So many incredible things are in the works at Keystone Law, but I look forward to continuing to take care of our clients and strengthening our connections. Most of our business comes from your referrals, and we truly rely on them to make our firm the best it can be. Honestly, we love getting referrals and working with our clients’ friends and families. It just further promotes the sense of community we have here.

The year seems to have gone by in seconds, and I couldn’t be prouder of what our team has accomplished in 2023. Perhaps what made this year zoom on by were the multiple Intentional Living Summits we launched and all of the fun that came with them! We recently had our third and final event of the year, and it truly is incredible to see all of my clients, partners, and community members come together. While our reason for meeting is to discuss legal and financial matters, it’s just a good excuse for all of us to get together and meet one another.

Our Intentional Living Summits have been a huge hit, and I’ve received phenomenal feedback from our members, ensuring we continue holding these events in the future. Of course, this is definitely part of my plan for 2024. With just three events, we’ve had over 200 people participate! These summits are for our Trust Care Members only, so if you have our membership, please be on the lookout for future invitations in your email or mailbox. You can sign up for free if you’re a Trust Care Member. At our last event, our team presented a few tax-saving strategies that benefit anyone. One concept we discussed was your cumulative tax bill, how to calculate it, and, ultimately, how to minimize it as best as possible. As you near retirement, your security, pension, and other funds will stay relatively the same for

I wish you and your family a merry Christmas and a happy New Year! Let’s meet again in 2024!

-Francisco Sirvent | 1


directly at the French and Spanish ships, signaling to his men, “England expects that every man will do his duty.” The British fleet punched through the middle of Napoleon’s navy, allowing them to use cannons on both sides of their ship. Once the English took advantage, the battle quickly came to a close. The British claimed 19 or 20 of Napoleon’s ships and took the lives of thousands of Spanish and French sailors, including Villeneuve. Around 1,500 British troops were killed, including Admiral Nelson, or wounded in the battle. Although Napoleon would stay in power for another decade as he continued to fight wars against the rest of Europe, England was officially out of Napoleon’s reach after the Battle of Trafalgar. If there’s one thing we can learn from this battle, it’s that using efficient and effective tactics can help us accomplish anything, no matter the odds.

during the Battle of Trafalgar in the War of the Third Coalition of the Napoleonic Wars. Napoleon had always been in awe of the British Royal Navy. By 1805, Napoleon had left his mark on Europe, conquering much of the continent and building his navy, which consisted of 33 French and Spanish ships that sailed under the command of Admiral Pierre de Villeneuve. In late September 1805, Villeneuve and his fleet were docked near Cádiz on the Atlantic coast of Spain. After a few weeks of preparation waiting for more favorable weather, Villeneuve set sail for Naples, only to find that he was being pursued by Admiral Horatio Nelson and his fleet of 27 British ships. Conventional naval battles of the time saw ships line up parallel to each other, giving both sides easy targets with their cannons. Nelson had other ideas, however. On Oct. 21, near Cape Trafalgar, Nelson ordered his fleet to form two columns and charge

Napoleon Bonaparte is one of the most prolific military leaders in all of human history. Napoleon became the emperor of France in 1804 after proving his military prowess countless times in battles against England, Russia, Austria, and other European powers. He revolutionized warfare and battles, and many consider his tactics to be some of the greatest ever developed. Yet, there was one British naval officer who was able to outwit Napoleon’s navy and prevent the conquest of England


So, what do you do instead? You could directly name an adult guardian to become the beneficiary, but this still opens you up to the problem already mentioned. Even if they’re good with your kids, they might not be the best money managers. The best path forward is to create a living trust and name the trust as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy.

As a parent, you want to do everything possible to ensure your children are cared for if you pass away or become incapacitated. Many people start a life insurance policy, thinking they’ll be able to leave a large sum to their children if the unthinkable happens. Many employers offer life insurance as a job benefit, or you can get coverage through an insurance agent. Once you

establish what you want from your life insurance package, you have to name the beneficiaries of your policy. While most people choose their spouse or partner, many consider naming their children as the beneficiaries. It sounds like a great idea on paper, but complications arise when it’s implemented. When you name a minor as a life insurance beneficiary, they won’t be able to receive the proceeds directly. Instead, your appointed legal guardian (if you don’t have a legal guardian named in your estate plan, the state will appoint one for you) will manage and distribute the money. And they could make decisions that don’t coincide with your wishes.

With a trust, you can name a bank or money manager as the trustee while setting specific guidelines for who gets access to the funds and when. This means you can set up the trust to help pay for your children’s education and other expenses as well as a monthly stipend for the guardian without giving anyone untethered control of the funds. You can even determine the age your children will gain full access to the trust. Don’t make the mistake of naming your minor children as beneficiaries of your life insurance policy. Establish a trust — it’s the best way to take care of your legacy.

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Take the Lead

Leash-Training Made Easy

Bringing a new dog into your household comes with many responsibilities. You have to teach it the rules of the house and coach it through various commands to ensure your new friend is as obedient as possible. Unfortunately, training a dog is not as easy as explaining the process to it and expecting results. You have to work with it and consistently correct any wrong behaviors. And for many dog owners, one of the most



• 1/4 cup packed brown sugar • 2 tsp salt • 2 tsp beef bouillon granules • 1 tsp black pepper • 2 cups cooked long-grain rice • Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

• 2 lbs ground beef • 6 cups water • 1 28-oz can tomato sauce • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained • 2 cups chopped green peppers

difficult things to train a dog on is learning how to walk on a leash.

Nearly every dog owner has struggled to walk a dog who wanted to lead or didn’t want to follow. Like many others, you probably

Directions 1. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook beef until no longer pink, breaking it into crumbles; drain. Add beef back to the pot and stir in all ingredients except the cooked rice. Bring to a boil. 2. Reduce heat. Simmer uncovered until peppers are tender, about 30 minutes. 3. Add cooked rice and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. If desired, sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley.

tugged and pulled before giving up. Thankfully, there is a simple method to leash-train your dogs. Ideally, you’d deploy these tactics when you first bring a puppy into your home, but you can also teach an old dog new tricks with this strategy. It’s best to start by practicing in your own home instead of on the sidewalk or even in the backyard. Without a leash, call your dog to your side and reward them once it arrives. Start walking forward, interacting with your dog the whole way. When it stays by your side, reward it with another treat. Repeat this process until the dog catches on and eagerly awaits its next treat. Now, your dog is ready to try the same exercise while wearing their leash and harness. Once it’s mastered the leash indoors, take your dog on a walk outside. This is where the real challenge begins. There are cars, new smells, and many other distractions that your dog will want to investigate. To prevent your dog from pulling or trying to lead, you must shorten the leash so it has no choice but to stay by your side. It might try to pull away at first, but the dog will quickly learn that there’s nowhere else to go and will learn to stay next to you.


Ballot Cornucopia Cranberry Districts Maize Pilgrim Politics Raking Shopping Stuffing Thanksgiving Veteran

Once your dog is properly leash-trained, you’ll have a much easier time walking with your furry friend! | 3



2701 W. QUEEN CREEK RD., #3 CHANDLER, AZ 85248


Highlights from Our 2023 Intentional Living Summits How a British Admiral Thwarted Napoleon’s Naval Ambitions The Right Way to Protect Your Children’s Inheritance




Stuffed Pepper Soup

How to Leash-Train Your Dog for Stress-Free Strolls

4 Estate Planning Lessons From Anne Heche’s Untimely Death When Fame Meets Inheritance: Anne Heche’s Legacy

and then given to the children.” Heche sent the email in 2011 when the couple was still together. Unfortunately, the email was not legally binding, and a judge gave complete control of Heche’s estate to her son, Homer. The estate consisted of $110,000 in bank funds and uncashed checks as well as an estimated $400,000 in other assets. However, people continued to target Heche’s estate with massive lawsuits. In November 2022, the woman renting the home that Heche crashed into sued the estate for at least $2 million, then the homeowners filed their own lawsuit. A month later, a credit card company sued the estate for $36,000 in credit card debt. Like many other celebrity estate planning cases that make the news, this entire situation could have been avoided if Heche had created an estate plan.

car — or Heche — for over 45 minutes. Following the accident, Heche fell into a coma and passed away seven days later due to inhalation and thermal injuries as well as a sternum fracture. Unfortunately for Heche’s family, she passed without a will in place, which complicated matters significantly. Heche’s eldest son, Homer Heche Laffoon, filed a petition to be appointed administrator of her estate not long after her death. James Tupper, Heche’s ex-partner and father to her second child, argued that he could reject the petition as he believed Homer was not suitable due to his age and lack of income. Furthermore, Tupper provided an email written by Heche that left the estate in his hands. It read, “FYI In case I die tomorrow and anyone asks. My wishes are that all of my assets go to the control of Mr. James Tupper to be used to raise my children

News of Anne Heche’s death stunned the entertainment world in August 2022. The 53-year-old actress who starred in “Donnie Brasco’’ and “Six Days Seven Nights’’ was driving her MINI Clubman when she crashed into a Los Angeles home. A fire broke out from the accident, and firefighters were unable to remove the

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