A loved one passes away, so what do you do?

Jodi B. Zimmerman, Esq.



Jodi B. Zimmerman, Esq.

Sichenzia Ross Ference Kesner LLP


A loved one passes away, so what do you do?

First you have to find out if the person had a Last Will & Testament, if they did, you will want to check to see who the decedent named as executor because that is the best person to petition the Surrogate’s Court for Letters Testamentary. This process is known as Probate. Continue reading “A loved one passes away, so what do you do?”

Security questions don’t answer digital onboarding challenges

It’s no wonder most product sales continue to happen at the branch.

In an age where you can conjure a car, a bottle of Bulleit whiskey or a date with just a few taps on a smartphone, it is still common for banks to require would-be customers to come into their branches to sign up for products — even if institutions advertise those products digitally.

Although banks expect to move in a digital direction as branch transactions continue to decline, few banks have made signing up for products possible or easy online. To propel digital sales, banks will need to make the process for customers easier — including fewer clicks, less data they have to input themselves and the ability to save work and revisit it later. But behind the scenes, banks and others in financial services are facing a more complicated issue: finding efficient ways to verify that customers are who they say they are.

Increasingly, banks are realizing that customer growth is at stake if they don’t commit to making digital sales easier. According to a research paper published in May by Aite Group, financial institutions said that 21% of the decisions about fraud solutions are now up to the customer experience and marketing departments — marking a change from past years.

“While this may not sound significant, it is important to realize that less than a decade ago, these departments would not have been involved in such decisions,” Shirley Inscoe, a senior analyst with Aite Group, wrote in the report.


Chart showing retail banking priorities.


Banks are legally required to prove they know their customers, of course. But “know” is a relative word. While someone may show a driver’s license or a passport to open an account in a branch, the identity procedures tend to operate differently online. In fact, banks can court consumers like a game of Jeopardy! online. Institutions are paying data vendors to ask would-be customers questions such as “What street did you live on when you took out an auto loan?” or “In which of the following counties have you owned property?” as one measure to establish trust before someone can open an account. The experience, however, is clunky at its best and error prone at its worst.

Continue reading “Security questions don’t answer digital onboarding challenges”

Is Venture Capital Worth the Hassle? Experts Tell All

Entrepreneurs often get overly distracted by the quest for venture capital. These success stories will help you decide what’s right for your business.

By Marla Tabaka @MarlaTabaka

Marla Tabaka is a small-business adviser who helps entrepreneurs around the globe grow their businesses well into the millions. She has more than 25 years of experience in corporate and startup… Full bio

It’s no secret that securing venture capital (VC) is a challenging endeavor. Even so, the sheer volume of headlines announcing a VC-backed startup’s overnight success paints an unrealistic picture for entrepreneurs about the true level of difficulty in securing investor funding. According to the Small Business Administration, the number of startups funded by VCs in 2012 was an abysmal 300 of the approximately 600,000 new businesses started in the U.S., that means 99.95 percent of entrepreneurs did not gain access to VC for their new businesses that year.

But entrepreneurs don’t let a little thing like going against the odds get in the way of following their dreams. At the same time, not every entrepreneur’s vision of success depends on a financial backer.

I had the opportunity to gain insights from several industry experts and SME/startup executives about their own reasons for advising businesses to pursue VC despite all odds, or to bootstrap and forego external financial security in favor of greater autonomy. Here’s what they had to say on the subject:

Big-time bootstrappers

Seth Farbman, founder and CEO of eSignatureGuarantee, touts the benefits of forced frugality associated with a bootstrap model. “In the early days, our office structure consisted of a few small offices. When a large client approached us on a Friday and asked to come in-house to utilize our large conference facilities, we had a small construction crew come in for the entire weekend and knock down some walls to provide us with a presentable large conference facility to host our new clients. That hustle comes from a bootstrap mentality without access to a large expense account found with the VC route.”