Keystone Law May 2019

Trust Matters MAY 2019


Incredible Mothers Thanking Some of the Hardest Workers I Know

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, I’m reminded of just how lucky I am to have such amazing moms in my life. Both my mother and my wife, Nicole, are fantastic parents, and I couldn’t let this month go by without highlighting the amazing work they do. I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today without their love and support. Thinking back to when we were kids, there wasn’t a moment when my sisters and I weren’t our mother’s No. 1 priority. She was the kind of momwho was always there when you needed her, ready to give Band-Aids, hugs, or just help with homework. We never got the sense that she was too busy for us, despite how hard she was working toward her own dreams. Our mother’s goal was to become a school teacher, and she put herself through college while she raised us. By the time I earned my bachelor’s degree, she was graduating with her master’s in education. We actually got to attend each other’s graduation ceremonies! Our mother went on to have a very successful career as an elementary school teacher, which didn’t surprise me. She’s always been great with kids. Being fluent in Spanish, she specialized in teaching English as a second language, helping students from all over the globe thrive in an unfamiliar environment. Today, my mother enjoys a comfortable retirement and relishes the time she gets to spend with her 12 grandkids. You can definitely see her school teacher side come out in these moments, especially when she leads our kids in arts and crafts activities. Watching her bond with her grandkids is part of the reason I love the work I do. Many of our estate planning clients are teachers who are looking for the best way to use their pension. Being able to sit down and help these

educators find the same happiness as my mom is a great feeling.

away. I attribute that to the incredible care and patience Nicole had in raising them.

By far, the most important thing my mother has taught me is how to be a good dad and husband. When she was raising me and my sisters, our mother always worked as a team with our dad. They wouldn’t let us divide them; everything they did for us, they did together. I’ve tried to do the same in raising my own kids with Nicole, and I couldn’t have asked for a better partner. Nicole is an incredible mother in her own right. She is dedicated to our kids 100 percent and even retired from a very successful career so she could be there for them full time. Seeing the ways our children have matured, it’s clear this decision has made an incredible impact on their lives. Our kids are articulate, humble, and manage to stay off of their devices. I can’t tell you how amazing it is to come home and have conversations with them around the dinner table without having to ask them to put their phones

Not only did Nicole help our kids grow, but her sacrifice also gave me the flexibility to grow this firm. I could dedicate my attention to serving my clients with the comforting assurance my kids were in good hands at home. Without her willingness to take on so much responsibility as a mother, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

To all the hard-working moms out there, Happy Mother’s Day!

-Francisco | 1

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It’s not an overstatement to say that social media has revolutionized the way we live our lives today. But with that massively powerful platform comes a massive responsibility, especially if you’re already in the spotlight. Athletes have taken the opportunity social media affords them to build their personal brands and engage in community outreach with the fans who look to them as role models, but there’s a downside to cataloging years of unfiltered thoughts on the internet. For better or worse, social media is here to stay, and we have full access to all the drama that unfolds for our entertainment. Despite the web’s potential for good, some pros can’t seem to get the message that every post falls under the scrutiny of their public. PR firms representing players have now made it a top priority to keep their clients’ images in line by scrubbing old posts that could be offensive and land them in hot water. Still, though, it seems like there’s a new controversy every week. One of the best examples comes courtesy of former football star“Johnny Football”Manziel. The former HeismanTrophy winner was notorious for posting embarrassing images of himself partying when he should have been practicing, and he often blasted his private issues in public, seemingly

with no filter. He’s out of a job now, most recently having been banned from the Canadian Football League. For every bad apple, though, there is a bushel of athletes who use their platforms for the greater good. HoustonTexans defensive end J.J. Watt, five-time Pro Bowler and NFL star, has used his social media“juice”to spread the word about his charity, raising over $4.6 million for youth athletic programs and organizations.

Philanthropy aside, part of the beauty of celebrity social media is that the people who seem so much larger than life become accessible because of it. In decades past, you might have written a letter that, if you were fortunate, got a response from some unpaid intern. Today, fans can reach out directly to their favorite athletes. It is a personal connection unparalleled in history. What a time to be alive.


Your estate plan is far more than just a set of documents. It’s a declaration of what you find most important and a road map of the legacy you’d like to leave. Not only does a proper estate plan ensure that your loved ones will be taken care of when you’re gone, but it also allows you to make an impact on the wider world through charitable giving. Many avenues exist for making planned gifts to nonprofits, but here are some of the basics on how to make giving a part of your plan.

notify an organization about what you are planning to give. Smaller philanthropies may not accept complex assets, such as stocks or real estate. On the other hand, some charities may specialize in specific assets. For example, if your home is considered a historic site within your town, you may want to gift it to a preservation society so that it stays properly maintained.



There are different ways to structure a charitable bequest, giving you the flexibility to make sure your estate planning goals are met. If you have a set sum of money or a particular asset you wish to leave to a charity, you can make a specific bequest in your will. However, if you want to ensure your loved one’s needs are met before giving a portion of your estate to charity, you can make what’s known as a residuary gift. With a residuary gift, once debts have been paid off and your other beneficiaries have received their bequests, a specified percentage of your remaining estate will go to a charity of your choice.

The most basic way to give to a charity is by naming it in your will. Simply name the charitable organization you wish to support among your beneficiaries, and specify the assets you wish to give. If estate or income taxes are a concern, ensure your chosen organization is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. These are the charities the IRS deems tax-exempt.

MATCH THE ASSETS TO THE CHARITY Almost all charities will accept cash bequests, though


Depending on your income level and the kinds of assets in your estate, more complex means of making a planned gift may be available to you. Talk to your estate planner to see if creating a charitable trust or establishing a foundation is the right move for you.

it is always a good idea to

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How to Cultivate Valuable Customer Reviews THE GOOD KIND OF GOSSIP When you’re thinking about buying a new product or service, what’s the first step you take? If you turn to the WorldWide Web in search of reviews, then you’re in good company. According to a survey conducted by BrightLocal, 85 percent of consumers regard the customer review to be the single most credible and trustworthy source of advertising. That same survey found that 68 percent of customers surveyed were willing to provide feedback for a company. So, how do you get your customers to write the glowing reviews that help close deals? Don’t rely on customers to go to your website to leave reviews. There are numerous websites you can utilize that make leaving feedback more convenient for your clients. What’s more is that these other platforms are highly trafficked. BrightLocal found that Facebook and Yelp were consumers’ most trusted sources of user reviews in the U.S., but you can also use Google My Business or the Better Business Bureau. Most importantly, be sure you are active on all the platforms you use. DIVERSIFY YOUR PLATFORMS





1/2 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined 1/2 pound cooked sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons paprika

Give your clients a reason to write reviews. Consider offering incentives like a discount or coupon code, coffee gift card, or an entry to win a contest for an even bigger prize.

1/2 tablespoon garlic powder

1/2 tablespoon onion powder

2 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/2 tablespoon cayenne or chili powder


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes

Think of the review process as a conversation rather than a request to be met, and use open-ended questions to start. Before you even request a review, you can ask customers questions like “How was your recent experience with us?” or “How are you liking your product?”That way, you can gauge their satisfaction before they leave any feedback.

1/4 tablespoon dried oregano

1/4 tablespoon dried thyme


1. Heat your grill to medium-high. 2. In a bowl, combine all ingredients for creole seasoning. 3. In a large bowl, combine the shrimp, zucchini pieces, and sausage pieces, and cover them with the olive oil. 4. Add creole seasoning and mix well until all ingredients are covered. 5. Load up skewers with alternating pieces of shrimp, sausage, and zucchini until they’re full. 6. Grill skewers until shrimp are well-cooked (6–8 minutes). Inspired by Food Network


The last thing you want to see is a scathing one-star review. But no matter how hard you work, they are still bound to happen. When you receive one, take the time to respond thoughtfully —without being defensive — and try to come up with a possible solution to the complaint. And be sure to respond to your positive reviews as well. When you show that you engage with all of your customers, prospective ones will be more likely to give you a shot. | 3

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


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Incredible Mothers

The Golden Era of Athletes on Social Media Making Charity a Part of Your Estate Plan

Shrimp Sausage Skewers The Value of User Reviews


Genealogy Sites Provide Breakthroughs in Cold Cases

GENEALOGY SITES AND THE WARMING OF COLD CASES The Revolution in Forensic Science Continues to Captivate the Masses

We’ve come a long way in the field of forensic science since 1986, when DNA was first used to convict someone in court. In 2019, criminals who would have gotten away with their crimes in the past are now put behind bars where they belong. The advent of genealogy testing has been thrust into the spotlight with high-profile cases that were solved by sequestering information from sites like 23andMe and With this revolution in DNA testing on the rise, there’s really no end to the impossible-to-solve cold cases that can finally be put to rest. Whatever the motivation was behind genealogy sites in the beginning, they’re now some of the most sought-after databases in the world and are worth billions for their collection of the most personal consumer data in existence. Using these websites’ data, investigators can make DNA matches with potential offenders. The most famous recent case is the successful apprehension of Joseph James DeAngelo, otherwise known as the Golden State Killer. After 13 murders and dozens of assaults, he

was finally brought to justice after investigators matched his DNA to the evidence found at the crime scenes. They gained access to his DNA from the personal genomics site GEDmatch. Although access to the data of popular sites like 23andMe and is restricted to its customers, law enforcement agencies

successfully subpoenaed the companies to hand over the requested data. With the ability to theoretically solve any crime with preserved DNA, law enforcement and websleuths alike are foaming at the mouth at the possibilities genealogy testing has to offer. If only we’d preserved some of Jack the Ripper’s DNA!

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Local Professional and Small Business Owner, John Null, Urges BEING PREPARED with Keystone Law Firm.

As a financial and insurance professional, and small business owner, specializing

As part of the estate planning process at Keystone Law Firm, all clients are encouraged to make their long term care decisions, such as structuring their estate to take advantage of the Arizona Long Term Care Program or to secure long term care insurance. Fortunately, one smart thing John did back when he was in his 50’s was to purchase long term care insurance for the both he and his wife. He explains despite some tough financial times, they never dropped those policies. About five years ago, John’s wife of 56 years was admitted to assisted living due to the progression of Alzheimer’s. He is so grateful and thanks God he had these policies when they were needed. Today, John urges everyone to create their health care directives, make long term care plans get a guaranteed estate plans and research any veteran benefits that cover these expensive services. As a Keystone client and a partner, John is a great educational resource. Today, John encourages folks: “Don’t do some of the not-so-smart-things we did, get your affairs in order before it becomes a crisis.” To get started with YOUR estate planning process, visit us at one of our FREE upcoming seminars.

in the senior market with Medicare Advantage plans and Supplements, John Null sees many seniors out there who believe they are qualified to take care of their own financial and legal needs. Unfortunately, it is a misconception. John says he gets many frantic phone calls when these folks are in a crisis situation and are looking for solutions that many times are not available because they did not prepare well in the past. As a professional and as a senior, John knew the value of being prepared . But it wasn’t always that way. “I am almost 77 years old and am still working for two reasons. One, I love what I do. Two, more importantly, when I had the opportunity in my youth, I did not plan for retirement. I thank God I found a profession I love and can do until I am called “home”. “ One great decision John made was to have Keystone Law Firm as his legal partner and estate-planning firm. “I was able to update my trust and will plan and Atty. Francisco Sirvent helped protect everything I worked hard to earn.”

Call us at 480-209-6942 or visit

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