Keystone Law Firm - November 2018

Take a look at our newsletter this month.


Trust Matters

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A Lesson in Love and Forgiveness Why We’re Adding a Family Law Division

Sitting down to write this November edition, I was tempted to stick to the same old formula. Thanksgiving is this month, I thought. Why not talk about my childhood memories of the holiday, like how my dad would cook the turkey on a Weber grill all day long and how the only downside was that we had to smell the delicious seasonings all day? But then it occurred to me that not everyone’s childhood Thanksgiving experiences are positive ones. For families who have been touched by divorce, the holidays can be an especially rough time of year. Just figuring out the logistics of custody during celebrations can be difficult, to say nothing of the emotional toll parents and children have to struggle with. I owe my perspective on this to my wife, Nicole, whose parents divorced when she was quite young. For years now, Nicole has campaigned for Keystone Law to add a family law division. We’ve all seen just how much damage crooked lawyers can do in this field, so she wants to see us make a difference for families who are struggling through one of the toughest times in their lives. Well, her wish is about to come true. Beginning this month, Keystone Law Firm will begin accepting a limited number of family law clients. I have already recruited some outstanding family law professionals to the Keystone team, ones who understand that our family law division will not operate like a typical divorce firm that churns the clock and drags out the process. Just as we hold ourselves to a high standard of ethics when it comes to estate planning, we are challenging ourselves to take the high road when it comes to divorce. This is about more than keeping a promise to my wife, which is surely important to me. Overall, this additional division will help us serve you and your families better than ever before. Family and estate law are deeply intertwined; at the end of the day, they both boil down to the most important relationships in your life. Now more than ever before, we are able to stand with you as you allocate your resources and plan your legacy. In practice, this means that we won’t take cases where parents want to use a child as a pawn or where one spouse wants to use the legal system to exact their revenge. All of our legal strategies will be based on the interests of the children’s well-being and emotional needs and helping clients move on to their “New Beginnings.” We know divorce is profoundly painful and deeply personal, but we also believe that in the majority of cases, amicable partings are possible.

Crucially, we will have resources available to help our clients and their former spouses plan and maintain effective co-parenting strategies. When properly executed, these can make life easier on your children and the legal proceedings less traumatic for everyone. Remember that how you treat your kids should never be about your spouse; it should always be about the kids. Divorce is hard enough on kids as it is. No one needs to be put through the emotional gauntlet that some kids are forced to endure. No family is perfect, and separating is sometimes the best option for everyone involved. While this will never be easy on children, there are steps lawyers and parents can take to respect their child’s agency and emotional needs. Thanks to Nicole, we’ll do our part to implements these changes. And thanks to her, I now understand the important role lawyers have to play in this process, and I’ve also gotten a chance to see how we can make a difference for these families. Bringing it all back to Thanksgiving, I know what I’m grateful for this year. Nicole, you’ve inspired me in so many ways throughout our time together. The way that you’ve shouldered the experience of your childhood and then turned it into a force for good through this new division at Keystone Law is humbling beyond words. You are a warrior. Thank you for always pushing me to be the best lawyer and the best man I can be.

Warm Regards,

-Francisco P. Sirvent Attorney & Problem Solver at Law™


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Get Your Grandchildren the Perfect Gifts


‘Tis the season to flock to the stores to find the hottest deals on the coolest products just in time for the holidays. For older adults, however, braving a crowded parking lot and long lines can be a painful, difficult ordeal. Luckily, you don’t have to participate in this “rate” race in order to give your grandchildren presents they’ll cherish for years to come. Follow these steps to generate ideas for affordable, unforgettable gifts. Step 1: Make a Budget Regardless of how much you’ve saved for retirement, you need to consider the finances. The best way to establish a budget is to set aside a holiday fund including the total amount of money you’re comfortable spending. Divide that total by the number of grandchildren you have, and you’ll now know approximately how much you can spend on each gift. Remember, too, that many presents don’t have to come with a price tag. Step 2: Talk to the Parents Parents are the best resource for ideas of what is and isn’t an appropriate gift. They can tell you what each child is interested in, as well as list any gifts to avoid. Parents’ insights will prove invaluable when it comes time to make a decision, especially because

different parents have varying ideas of what’s acceptable. Step 3: Give an Experience Consider giving an

experience-based gift rather than a toy or material object. Maybe you want to give all of the children in one family tickets for a getaway. Perhaps you want to accompany them to a museum or sporting event. No matter the experience that fits your family best, these gifts can create lasting memories for everyone. Step 4: Add a Thoughtful Touch After you’ve purchased all of your gifts, take the time to add something personal to each of them. A handwritten letter, old photos, or other mementos could end up having just as much of an impact as the gift itself. It will also let the child know that you’re thinking of them, which is especially meaningful when you can’t spend the holidays together. Step 5: Have Fun Buying gifts for your grandkids should be a joyful experience and a way to express your love. That’s what matters most of all.

Keystone LawFirmWins the 2018 LawFirm 500 Award

The 2018 Law Firm 500 Awards marked another exceptional year. The top position came in at 1,900 percent growth. A truly extraordinary accomplishment was celebrated by all honorees.


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Thanksgiving is a time to think about what you’re most grateful for in life, including the people who fight for our freedoms. Thanksgiving and Veterans Day take place in November, which makes this month the perfect time to thank a veteran who has served our country.


Spicy, Creamy Sweet Potatoes

It’s important to acknowledge the soldiers who have fought for our liberty, freedom, and justice. Thank a veteran this Thanksgiving — or any day of the year.

The Choice to Serve The people who join the military do so of their own free will. They heeded the call to serve their country and chose to dedicate their lives to a cause — not just for themselves, but for all the citizens of the U.S. Leaving Everything They Know Behind These individuals have families, hobbies, friends, and jobs they choose to leave behind. They had the strength to leave familiar comforts and adjust to a new world — all to provide protection for our country. Understanding Our Soldiers Recruits undergo mentally and physically demanding training to prepare themselves for live combat. Civilians can never truly grasp what our brave soldiers have experienced or comprehend the scars they can carry for years after their service is over. Those Who Never Make It Home Our soldiers leave their homes knowing the dangers they will face. All service members experience loss to some degree, and many experience loss when a friend or loved one dies in combat. The casualties are not only felt by those in combat, but also by the family members who never get the chance to welcome their soldier back home. At Keystone Law Firm, we have helped veterans with their estate plans in the past, so we know how important it is to thank our military. If you have a soldier or veteran in your family, or if you happen to see a uniform on the street, don’t hesitate to approach them and thank them for their service.

Sweet potatoes are a Thanksgiving staple, but they’re often the blandest thing on the table. Luckily that’s not the case with this recipe, which features Thai spices and coconut milk.


• 5 pounds sweet potatoes • 1 cup canned coconut milk • 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste

• 1/2 cup dark brown sugar • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter • 1 tablespoon kosher salt


1. Heat oven to 375 F. On a large sheet pan, bake potatoes until very soft, approximately 75 minutes. 2. Let potatoes cool until they are safe to handle, then peel and mash. 3. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine coconut milk and curry paste. Once mixed, add the mixture, salt, half the sugar, and half the butter to potatoes. 4. 30 minutes before serving, heat oven to 425 F. Spread potatoes in a baking dish, cover with foil, and bake for 20 minutes. 5. Uncover potatoes and dot with remaining butter and sugar. Broil until brown, crusty, and delicious. Serve hot.

From all of us to all our veterans and serving members, thank you!

Inspired by The New York Times


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AHistoric Veterans Day


This year, Veterans Day takes on particular historic significance: Nov. 11, 2018, marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War. Countries around the world will commemorate the signing of this peace agreement with moments of silence, centennial ceremonies, and historical exhibits. Unlike Memorial Day, Veterans Day is a celebration of life. It’s a day to honor the power of peace and the living veterans across the globe who have served their countries. This November, take a moment to remember the war that helped shape the international community’s dedication to peace and thank the individuals who served to defend it. The Great War By 1914, a world war had been years in the making, but the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of the Austro-Hungarian Empire by a Serbian nationalist provided the spark that would eventually burn down much of Europe. A chain reaction of land disputes, pre-emptive attacks, and strategic alliances brought over 30 countries into World War I.

peace and a global effort to ensure its place in the future. The Restoration of Peace In 1918, Germany surrendered unconditionally, and the armistice ended the fighting at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, though the war did not officially

end until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles the following July. An estimated 16 million soldiers and civilians died in just four years, making it one of the deadliest conflicts in modern history. Veterans Day

Originally called Armistice Day, Veterans Day was first observed on Nov. 11, 1919, to honor the one-year anniversary of the armistice, and it became a U.S. holiday in 1938. Today, Veterans Day celebrates veterans who served their country honorably. The U.K., France, Australia, and Canada also commemorate their veterans in November. If you know a veteran, thank them for their service this month.

The Great War that ravaged Europe resulted in a devastating loss of life, but from those ashes rose a renewed appreciation for the importance of

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