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Spring Clean Your Tech and Scrub Your Beneficiaries

Posted By Amie Mendoza, The Law Offices of Amie Mendoza, Friday, February 27, 2015

It's almost spring. Can you believe it? Time is ticking by so fast that we just got around to putting away the holiday decorations last week! As always, with spring comes thoughts of spring cleaning.

I am not really a big fan of large home organization projects. So, this year, I am going to focus my spring cleaning efforts on technology. This is a good time of year to tidy up the inbox, clean out the social media, and make sure you're backing up your data. This article on Pop Sugar suggests 31 Straightforward Ways to Spring Clean Your Tech.The best part is that you can do this sitting in your comfortable chair with a cup of coffee. Oh, and virtual dust doesn't make you sneeze.

To keep in the spirit of prep for spring cleaning, this week's article gives you some basic estate planning tasks that every adult can and should review.

Until Next Week,

The Basic Estate Planning Task EVERY Adult Needs to Review Today With the federal estate tax exemption at $5.43 million for 2015, many people think estate planning is unnecessary. But there’s one thing ALL adults over the age of 18 need to look at, regardless of estate taxes: beneficiary designations.

You would be amazed at how many people neglect this simple step, and their heirs and estate wind up paying for it – sometimes dearly. Ex-spouses inherit large sums every day, and high court rulings have upheld beneficiary designation forms, even if they were woefully out of date or even if the ex waived interest in a divorce decree.

Beneficiary designation forms trump a Will, too. Whoever is designated as the beneficiary on the account or plan form gets the money automatically, no matter what your Will says.

Here are some smart estate planning moves you should double check right now:
  • Submit a transfer on death (TOD) or payable on death (POD) form for all your bank and brokerage accounts, ensuring that your bank accounts and brokerage accounts would go where you want.
  • Review existing or create new beneficiary forms for your retirement accounts (IRAs, 401(k)s, Roth IRAs, etc.), pension plans, life insurance policies and annuities.
  • Review existing or create new beneficiary forms for any 529 college accounts you have established.

If you have established a Living Trust, ensure your Trust is the beneficiary of each of these accounts (be sure to talk with the lawyer who set up your Trust or call us for a review when it comes to retirement accounts, as we may decide to make your spouse the primary beneficiary of the retirement account or set up a special retirement account Trust).

If you have not established a Living Trust, make sure that you do not have minor children as beneficiaries on any of these accounts. If you do, call us to get that rectified. It is beyond critical that minor children not be designated as beneficiaries on any of these accounts.

If you don’t already have an estate plan – or have one that needs to be reviewed and updated – make 2015 the year you get this done. Call us at 602-772-3939 to schedule your Family Wealth Planning Session, where we can identify the best strategies for you to provide for and protect the financial security of your loved ones.


Tags:  estate planning  law  spring cleaning  technology 

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Dos and Don'ts for Green Screen Outfits

Posted By Taylor Luke, Financial Potion, Monday, January 5, 2015
If you decided you’re going to do a video on a green screen you want to be very conscience of what you’re going to be wearing. Here are five things to keep in mind when selecting your outfit. 

1) Avoid patterns and stick with solids.  Patterns can be very dangerous when it comes to video production in general, especially when you’re on a green screen. It can create a Moiré effect which just looks like a distortion.

2) Don’t wear any shade of green. Okay so you know you need to wear solids, now just make sure that your clothing doesn’t have any shade of green. That means lime green, forest green, teal, aqua, anything that has a shade of green. If you wear something with green in it the color is going to change and be distorted. 

3) Avoid bulky jewelry. Large watches, earrings, bracelets and necklaces have the potential to shine and reflect the green screen on to themselves. If your watch were to reflect green, there are chances that the area on your wrist would be eliminated in post production. So stick to the bare minimum when it comes to jewelry. 

4) Keep your hair clean. Of course we want you to smell good and have clean hair, however, what we mean by “keep your hair clean” is try to keep it tight without wondering strains. Those little pieces of hair and cause some issues when it comes it editing out the background. 

5) Try to rock your branding. When you’re doing a video for your business you want to wear your business colors or something that has your logo on it. Market your brand as much as possible.

There are of course some exceptions to these items. If your brand colors are green, you could always arrange to use a blue screen, however, most of these rules will still apply. Please takes these five items in account when determining your outfit for your green screen video shoot. 

Tags:  green screens  marketing  video 

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Green Screen or Not To Green Screen

Posted By Taylor Luke, Financial Potion, Monday, January 5, 2015

Green screens have become a bit of a fad and sometimes it isn’t the best for your marketing videos. It’s cool technology, and not that many years ago it seemed that only Hollywood could perfect it. Yet now there are muslim cloths and kits to make it possible to have a green screen in your basement. Green screens are excellent when they are needed. Here are some things to consider when deciding to record your video on a green screen or with a different background.

What’s your end goal for your background? There have been many times when a client is filmed on a green screen and then at the end of the day just wants a white background. If you want a plain white, black or blue background then just get filmed on one of those colored screens. Also if you want to look like you’re in an office, try to film in an office because it’s going to be real and have a more cinematic look.

Now on the flip side, if you want your backgrounds to change throughout the video, or you want a constant graphic in the background, or if you can’t physically record at the location that you want your background to be, then recording on a green screen is crucial for the success of the final product.

If you want text graphics, that can be done in either situation. Whether you’re being recorded on a green screen or an actual final background, spacing for the graphics will have to be considered from the start.

Honestly, try to avoid the green screen if you can. When using a green screen things can go wrong in post production. Certain clothes don’t play well with the green screen, and can cause fuzz, or have it come out of the picture entirely. Monday we’ll post the dos and don’t for clothing on a green screen.

Tags:  marketing  video 

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Facebook to Launch Business Site Competing with Linkedin

Posted By Arizona Small Business Association, Wednesday, November 19, 2014

According to a new report,  Facebook has been working on a version of its social website for businesses. The site is designed to compete with LinkedIn, Google Drive and Microsoft Office. Consequently it's expected the site will likely offer tools for creating and collaborating on documents, and storage.

The "Facebook At Work" site should feel and look like regular Facebook. However workers will be able to keep their personal account separate from their business account.

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Apple's iOS 8 features new encryption to lock out government

Posted By Arizona Small Business Association, Friday, September 19, 2014

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Apple unveiled new policies that block its access to user's mobile devices, even with a warrant, the tech giant revealed late Wednesday.

Apple's updated privacy terms indicate that under its new mobile operating system, iOS 8, the company will not have access to customer passwords.

"Your personal data such as photos, messages (including attachments), e-mail, contacts, call history, iTunes content, notes, and reminders, is placed under the protection of your passcode," the new policy states on its website.

"Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data. So it's not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8."


Tags:  iphone  password  privacy 

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