Keystone Law Firm NEWS February 2018

Keystone Law Firm NEWS February 2018

Trust Matters What My Wife Taught Me A Lesson They Don’t Teach in Law School FEBRUARY 2018 (480) 418-1776 | KEYSTONELAWFIRM.COM

I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for my wife. I’m not just saying that to sound

Everything was so uncertain; my mind was spinning. Was it worth it? Should I drop out? Could I stay the person Nicole had fallen in love with and still pass the bar? Yes, but it was going to require a major reversal. Having now worked alongside many different lawyers, I can say the problem I faced is a common one. Many let their profession define their personal life. With my wife’s help, I decided to flip this on its head. I am Francisco first, for better or worse. The person I am determines my career as a lawyer, not the other way around.

romantic — she’s the one who helped shape my

outlook on how I practice law. The roots of Keystone’s customer-first philosophy can all be traced to an argument I had with her back when I was earning my law degree. When I started law school, I was having the time of my life. I had to work full time while earning my undergraduate degree, so for once in my life, I was able to focus solely on school. I relished it. I dove headlong into my coursework, learning all the tricks of the trade. Unfortunately, many of the skills that make you a good lawyer also make you a terrible husband. Two months in, my wife called me out. We had been having a small argument, and I automatically began cross-examining her,

This is the reason I struck out on my own and founded Keystone Law Firm. The culture I encountered in school was just as pervasive in the big firms. I didn’t want to spend my life in those stuffy, mahogany- paneled practices, which are too arrogant for their own good. I believe in a more down-to-earth, human approach to law. I share this story with every employee we take on at Keystone because its message is what sets us apart. called me out. I’d like to tell you the course correction was instant, and I’ve been striking the perfect work- life balance ever since. But Nicole’s called me out plenty of times since, though less in recent years. She’s been an incredibly patient partner, and I couldn’t have gotten where I am without her honesty. I’d like to say that I got my act together the night after my wife

analyzing and defining every word that came out of her mouth. She told me I was becoming “one of those lawyers,” and she wasn’t going to have it. Her words hit me like a freight train. I felt sick. It was like looking in the mirror and barely recognizing yourself. Normally, I’m a pretty introspective guy, but I had no idea how much I was letting my studies bleed into my personal life. The legal culture in this country can be ruthlessly competitive, needlessly analytical, and overly confrontational. If these traits were already starting to rub off on me halfway through my first semester, what was I going to look like in three years?


There were a lot of sleepless nights after Nicole called out how I’d been acting. This was still early in our married life. The twins hadn’t even been born yet.


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AND STAY CONNECTED Be Social Media Savvy

It’s time to break the bad news to your grandkids: Social media isn’t just for them. A study from the Pew Research Center found that 47 percent of baby boomers are using social media. Facebook in particular proves to be an excellent resource for adults moving through the later stages of life. This social media platform helps keep you in touch with friends, family members who live far away, and workplace acquaintances who you don’t see during retirement. Social media can help you gather the people you want to keep in contact with in one centralized location. Here are a few things to remember for keeping your digital friendships enjoyable. Social Media Isn’t a Diary No one wants to see a feed clogged with posts from the same person. Your friends might like reading about exciting vacations or days with the grandkids, but they don’t need updates about your wait in line at the grocery store. Sharing TMI (too much information) will put you on the fast track to losing friends. It’s Okay to Hit Unfriend Likewise, if you find yourself sick of Judy’s moment-by-moment updates of her dog’s kidney stone, feel free to cut ties. That might entail unfollowing (you remain friends, but no longer see their posts in your feed), unfriending, or blocking a person entirely. There’s no reason to keep in touch with someone whose very profile picture makes you angry. Check a Source Before Sharing Just because something is online, that doesn’t make it true. It’s just as easy for someone

to post a lie about a celebrity or politician as it is for Judy to post about her dog. If you read a news story that gets a rise out of you, double check the facts before you hit share. Googling the article’s claims and main points will bring up similar articles — if those claims are true. This

will help you determine if it’s breaking news or a big hoax.

Just 10 years ago, snail mail and expensive long-distance calls were the only way to keep

in touch with the people we couldn’t see every day. Thanks to social media, we can stay connected to our loved ones around the world. Now that’s something that deserves a like.

Seeing Double

Valentine’s Day Special

Francisco here, again! I began this newsletter by explaining how my wife, Nicole, played such a significant role in shaping Keystone’s core values, so I thought it would be fun to include the story of how we met. You see, we’ve known each other longer than most couples, and our friendship has been through some wild twists and turns! It all started on the first day of seventh-grade art class. Instead of having individual desks, we

Thankfully, nothing breaks the ice like glue sticks and glitter. After a few days of art class, we were friends. I even got her phone number. This girl wasn’t just pretty, she was smart and had a wicked sense of humor. Things were going well, and then our time at junior high came to an end. We went to different high schools and lost touch with one another. I honestly didn’t think I’d see her again. A few years passed, and I almost forgot about that fun, pretty girl from art class. Then, in 11th grade, I was transferred to Mountain View. While there, I was almost certain I saw her walking the halls. It was a big school however, and I couldn’t be sure. When the yearbook came out, I decided to confirm my suspicions once and for all. The yearbook was organized alphabetically by last name, so I flipped to what should have been her page. What I found blew my mind. The girl from art class was on two different pages, right next to each other. She had an identical twin sister! Now I was in a bind. Even if I did spot her walking the halls, how could I be sure it was Nicole?

sat at tables together: four kids to a table, two on each side. I had already taken my seat when this beautiful girl decided to sit next to me. I’d like to say we hit it off right away, but the truth is, I was all nerves.

To be continued ...

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DON’T END UP IN LEGAL LIMBO If you read this newsletter, you know that Keystone Law is not afraid to do things differently. Sometimes that means changing the way we play the game. Other times, we have to change the game itself. That’s what we’re doing with Emergency Legal Agent™, a new program we developed that will be rolling out this year. It is our unique solution to a problem we see frequently in the estate planning community — the gap in legal coverage that occurs in the wake of a catastrophic life event. An emergency, like a car crash, can leave you suddenly incapacitated, unable to make legal decisions. Hopefully, you have an agent named in your will who can look after your health and estate while you are incapacitated. However, those documents are hundreds of pages long, usually kept in a safe place. Unfortunately, we see this happen all too often. A tragedy strikes and suddenly a person’s estate is stranded in legal limbo until the documents can be retrieved and interpreted. What if you have pets that need to be taken care of? Or valuable property that needs to be secured? Without documentation proving they have permission to access your house, your family could end up being blocked from everything. Thus, we’ve developed the concept of an Emergency Legal Agent™. This is a single- page document, designed to be given to three of your emergency contacts that live close by. They needn’t be your permanent legal guardian. This document simply gives the holder the right to talk to lawyers, doctors, and police on your behalf in the event of an emergency. It’s designed to be simple, but effective. A grab-and-go legal document for the 21st century. We are offering Emergency Legal Agent™ to our VIP Clients™ at no extra cost, and plan on making it available to the public later this year. It isn’t a replacement for a rock-solid estate plan, but will get you over that legal gap in an emergency. It’s just one more way we’re making estate law work for you. Get an Emergency Legal Agent™



Bacon-Wrapped Tater Tot Bombs

Sure, your

showoff pal canwrap a tater tot with a piece of bacon and call it “The

Daniel,” but you can take it a step further. Prepare a couple batches of these savory snacks for your Super Bowl party or the next family get-together. Snag a few for yourself before they disappear!


2 cups frozen tater tots, defrosted

1 ounce sharp cheddar, cut into 1/4-inch squares

4 slices bacon, quartered

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon chopped parsley


1. Heat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Press a cheese square into each tot, then wrap with a piece of bacon. Dredge each tot in brown sugar.

3. Place tots seam side down on baking sheet. Bake for 20– 25 minutes, using metal tongs to turn halfway through.

4. Garnish with parsley, if desired, and serve immediately.

Recipe inspired by


(480) 418-1776







The Best Valentine’s Getaways to Fantasize About

Valentine’s Day is for fancy dinners, heart-shaped boxes packed with subpar chocolates, and fantasizing about the magical places you and your beau would have escaped to — if only you had the PTO. So, grab a glass of bottom-shelf cab sauv, cuddle up next to your special someone, and try to make them feel bad for taking you to Chili’s instead of whisking you away to one of these picturesque fantasy lands. Udaipur, India These days, meandering through the cobblestone streets of Paris with your loved one is très passé . All the real high-rolling romantics are migrating southeast to the famous Oberoi Udaivilas hotel in western India. Set in a traditional Mewari palace, visitors will feel like royalty as they stroll around the labyrinthine gardens that surround the elaborate cream-colored structure. Travelers can relax beside one of the many glassy pools sprinkled throughout the estate, all of which are enthusiastically attended by an unparalleled service staff. Positano, Italy More than perhaps anywhere in the world, this place looks like it was lifted straight from a sappy romance novelist’s imagination. You and your partner can kick back on a balcony overlooking the entirety of this seaside town, taking in the century-old multicolored Italian architecture perched precariously on the verdant mountainside. Too small to accommodate swarms of tourists, it’s the perfect place to while away

the hours ambling from shop to shop, sampling the delicious local cuisine, and maybe taking a dip along the 300-meter beach. The Maldives From a water villa smack dab in the midst

of the glassy, ultra-blue Indian Ocean, you and your main squeeze can enjoy utter seclusion. Sip champagne in the shade of a palm overlooking an otherworldly sunset or get a little more adventurous, strap on a mask, and check out the abundant aquatic wildlife. Many hotels in the area even include access to an array of boats, perfect for your own private excursion along the mild waves. Of course, you could also always just stare, dumbfounded, into the horizon, wondering how such a place could actually exist on Earth.

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