Keystone Law Firm - July 2018

Tale a look at our newsletter this month.

JULY 2018

Trust Matters

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Magical Memories Our Time at Disney World

of what the Magic Kingdom has to offer. My advice for anyone planning a vacation of their own to Florida is to look into buying a Halloween pass.

“You can’t put a price on wonderful memories.”

Nicole and I have always

been conscious to give our kids great experiences as they grow up. We want to give them memories they’ll carry with them for the rest of their lives

This is maybe the best-kept secret to beat the crowds at Disney World. On certain dates in the fall leading up to Halloween, they let those with Halloween tickets stay at the park after hours. This cuts crowd sizes significantly and is a really exclusive experience. Being able to walk around the park in the cool of the evening is a great bonus, too. We did this last year and had a blast! Since we’re going to be in Florida in the peak of summer, we’re planning to try something new to beat the heat. For the first time, we’ll be testing out one of the Disney water parks, flying down water slides and bobbing in the wave pool. It won’t just be a new experience for the kids but for Nicole and me, as well. Here’s hoping they don’t have any water-themed roller coasters! In all seriousness, we’re very lucky to give our kids these kinds of moments in their formative years, especially doing something that was so important to my wife in her childhood. You can’t put a price on wonderful memories. Whether your summer is spent at home or abroad, I hope you get a chance to create many great memories with the people you love.

and moments that will help shape who they are as people. Unfortunately for me, my wife and kids really enjoy the experience of roller coaster riding.

Being shunted this way and that while speeding down a rickety track is not my ideal way of spending time at an amusement park. But when it comes down to it, I’m outvoted 5–1 every time. I end up screaming and hollering right along with Zach, our youngest. So I’m mentally preparing myself for another summer of coasters, because the family is packing our bags this month to head down to Disney World. My reason for going to Florida was to attend a conference on law office management. But my wife’s family is in Fl orida, and she’s one of the biggest Disney fans there is, so there was no question we’d have to go to the Magic Kingdom. When she was growing up, Nicole’s family went to Disney World almost every year. While we don’t manage to go quite as often, we are still very much a Disney family. My wife’s love of the movies and theme parks has been passed on to the kids. So we’ve become experts at getting the most out

Warm regards,



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W hen people approaching retirement are asked about their biggest fears, debt consistently ranks near the top of the list. That’s with good reason. According to finance company Comet, roughly 80 percent of American adults have some amount of debt. Many Americans will retire with a mortgage, car payment, or some other form of financial obligation. Obviously, retiring debt-free is the best outcome, but it’s simply not realistic for many people. That said, a little planning can go a long way toward making debt manageable after you stop working. Ideally, paying down debt should begin while retirement is still far off on the horizon. High-cost consumer loans, like those on credit cards, should be the debts you tackle first. A good rule of thumb is to start with the debt that has the highest interest rate. The longer that debt sits, the more you pay in interest. Many of these debts are not tax-deductible, so there’s no point in waiting for the optimal time to pay them off. As you get nearer to retirement, you should take a look at your mortgage and be ready to do some math. Because mortgages are tax-deductible, you may be in for a significant rate decrease once you retire. While the best strategy Meet the Team! BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO Debt Can Ruin Your Retirement, This April, Keystone Law Firm added two new members to our stellar team. In case you have not had a chance to meet them in person, we thought we’d introduce them to you here! Leah Ellsworth, Associate Attorney What do you enjoy most about your job? meeting many wonderful clients. It is really rewarding to help others accomplish their estate planning goals, whatever those may be. Has Arizona always been home? Yes. I am an Arizona native! What do you enjoy doing in your free time? I wear many hats. Aside from being an attorney, my favorite roles are wife and mommy. All of my free time is spent with my amazing husband, our sweet toddler, and our two dogs. Our favorite activities include playing outside — when the weather permits — dancing, exploring new places, and getting together with friends. What’s an interesting fact about you? If I weren’t an attorney, I would want to be a writer. It’s a dream of mine to have a book published one day. Since I had my son, my The people! Every member of our team is outstanding both professionally and personally. I have also had the pleasure of

for you may be different than your neighbor’s, there are a few principles that apply to all cases. You need to be sure that your

payments during retirement will be manageable on your reduced income. You should also never cash in 401(k) or other retirement accounts early to pay off your mortgage, because you’ll incur serious fees for an early withdrawal. As you transition into retirement, you should reevaluate your budget. The more expenses you can reduce, the longer your resources will last and the less stressful any outstanding debt will be. You should also set aside at least three months of emergency funds if possible so that you won’t need to use credit if something unplanned happens. Retiring without any debt may not be an option for you, but that shouldn’t stop you from proactively planning to decrease debt before you stop working. Like the proverbial monster under the bed, debt is a lot less scary when you’re willing to stare it straight in the face. husband and I have talked about creating a children’s book. He’s a great artist, and I love to write, so we’d like to come up with a fun story for kiddos. Jeannie Barnes, Intake Specialist What do you enjoy most about your job? I really enjoy speaking to clients and assisting them in determining their needs. Has Arizona always been home? I’m originally from Inland Empire, California. I have been living in Arizona on and off for about 15 years. What do you enjoy doing in your free time? I enjoy reading and spending time doing arts and crafts with my children in my free time. My children’s favorite activity is to work with paint, and our most recent activity was painting ceramic pots in which to plant herbs. What’s an interesting fact about you? An interesting fact about me is that I am also a hypnotherapist. I look forward to getting to know our clients and growing with Keystone Law Firm. KEYSTONE’S 2 NEWEST MEMBERS

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One question that our clients frequently ask us is “What is an irrevocable trust?” We know the name sounds ominous, but this legal arrangement is actually a versatile part of your estate planning toolkit. We’ve broken down the basics of this specialized form of trust to

Balsamic Glazed Pork Chops

help you understand its strength and limitations. What’s an Irrevocable Trust?

This flavorful take on pork chops is the perfect centerpiece for your meal. You can serve the chops alongside a

Well, as the name suggests, it is a trust that cannot be revoked. Most trusts can be altered by the grantor as much as he or she wants. In an irrevocable trust, the grantor cannot change the terms of the trust or fire the trustee without the approval of the beneficiaries and all other involved parties. It’s as close as an estate plan can be to being set in stone. What Advantages Does This Trust Have? While an irrevocable trust does limit your ability to change your estate plan, there are many advantages of using it over a standard revocable trust. The primary advantage is that this trust protects assets from the estate tax. Of course, with the estate tax exemption currently set at $11.18 million, most of us mortals don’t have to worry about that in the first place. However, irrevocable trusts can also protect your assets from unforeseen credit problems that occur on the winding road of life. You cannot use this legal avenue as a means of addressing current or imminent debts, however. This is a “just in case” strategy, which is why it’s important to set up an irrevocable trust sooner rather than later. With the cost of nursing homes and long-term care on the rise, forward-thinking people who want to ensure their legacy is left intact should consider this option. Is It Right for Me? That really depends on you and your loved ones. The limited ability to change an irrevocable trust means it isn’t for everyone. Even if you are confident in the terms of the trust you wish to create, there are many moving parts to consider, including your marital status and finances. An experienced estate planner will listen to your unique situation and help you find the best avenue for securing your legacy.

simple salad, charred asparagus, or any other summer veggies you want.


4 boneless pork chops

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

3 tablespoons raw honey

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 cloves garlic, minced


1. Heat oven to 400 F. 2. Generously season pork chops with salt and pepper. 3. In a saucepan, combine balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic, red pepper flakes, and thyme. 4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer gently for 5–6 minutes. 5. On high heat in an oven-safe saute pan or skillet, sear the pork chops for 1–2 minutes on each side. 6. Brush chops with half of glaze and transfer to oven. 7. Roast 6–8 minutes. 8. Remove from oven and brush with another coat of glaze. Let cool 5–10 minutes and serve.

Inspired by


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Songs of the Summer


Music is always changing, but one thing’s for certain: There will always be a “song of the summer” when the heat starts rolling in. To be crowned the true song of the season, a track must be everywhere, stuck in everyone’s heads — whether they like it or not — and have a certain je ne sais quoi that makes it part and parcel of the warmer months. Here are two summer slammers

Beyoncé was destined to change the musical landscape. Though she’d secured numerous smash hits before, “Crazy in Love” was, to many, the calling shot that signaled her eventual ascent to the throne. With her thrilling, powerful vocals backed by enormous horn samples and undeniable hypeman Jay-Z, it’s arguably the apex of contemporary pop. NME even goes so far as to call it “the best song of the millennium.” Today’s Contenders This year’s contenders seem to be slow out of the gate, making it difficult to declare the victor just yet, but there are some promising options. First, we have Drake’s “Nice for What,” which is riding high on the Billboard charts but isn’t quite as sing-along friendly as others. Though his “One Dance” dominated the summer of 2016. Other options include rap dynamo Cardi B’s spicy “I Like It” — the perfect song to play at a summer cookout — or the boilerplate EDM uplift “The Middle” by Zedd, Maren Morris, and Grey — the perfect song to play over the loud speakers at Target.

(and three contemporary options) that typify this vital trend. 1963: The Beach Boys, ‘I Get Around’

There’s a good reason that when Brian Wilson was asked whether there were any great summer songs that he didn’t write, he answered “No, not really.” Though there are certainly better jams from the Beach Boys’ tangled, complicated career, “I Get Around,” “Fun Fun Fun,” and their other hits from the early ’60s virtually wrote the blueprint for future songs of the summer. They’re sunny, annoyingly catchy, and filled with youthful exuberance. 2003: Beyoncé, ‘Crazy in Love’ Even before she led Destiny’s Child to international success and branched out on her own to become the de facto world queen of pop, it seemed

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