Swerdloff Law September 2017


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Many adults have an impact on the life of a child, but few more than teachers. With the return of the school year, I’d like to take a moment to recall some of the teachers who impacted me. Mrs. Koneski, my fifth-grade teacher, comes to mind first. She shared stories of being in England during World War II and made sure I learned the building blocks of math and English. Because the war had recently ended, we talked about current events and history, and we even did duck-and-cover drills. It was a scary time, but with everything going on in the world, it made me value my education even more. It was in college that a professor set the stage for me to go to law school. At the time, I wasn’t clear on what I wanted to do. I was interested in business and law and busy with my ROTC unit. Then I took an American Government class with Professor Jerry

Jordan, and that was it. Professor Jordan was one of the first true intellectual giants I’d met. He had a sharp wit and was a clear, energizing speaker who made everything interesting. Have you ever had a teacher like that? It really makes you want to keep learning. I took every course he offered over the next three years, and after a few semesters with him, I realized civics was one of my chief interests. When he taught constitutional law, it really sparked my interest, and I became a public affairs major, determining my pre- law route and giving me a true liberal arts college experience. These experiences in education set me on my journey to the type of law I wanted to practice. While I was serving as a trustee of a K-12 school, I had seen kids who were trying to fit in while coping with autism and other learning challenges. Later on in my law

practice, I began to see how I could make a difference for those students and their families. If you have worked with me or read this newsletter before, you know my passion for working with families with special needs. It’s because of my teachers who made me appreciate the educational process and guided me toward my career. I felt stimulated to find ways to help, and that’s what continues to motivate me. I hope the this school year is a positive one for you and your family. Know that in this transitional time, we are here to support you and answer questions for you, so reach out to us. If you’re looking for more information about estate planning and how to not have your assets end up in probate, we have an article for you on Page 2. Enjoy the newsletter and have a happy September. – Arthur J. Swerdloff


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Learn Healthy CopingMechanisms That Put You in Control DEALING WITH STRESS

government entities. Without an estate plan, there’s a risk that government benefits could be invalidated. One of the biggest issues I see when a person doesn’t do estate planning is probate. Do you know anyone who has gone through probate after a loved one’s death? If so, you may have heard what a long and painful process it is. If not, I can tell you that probate is a long and usually very expensive process, and it’s exactly where you could end up if you have assets worth more than $150,000. Your house, retirement account, stocks, or bonds — all these assets could be wiped out during probate. Wouldn’t you be better off investing in a good estate plan to protect your family and the assets you want to leave them than losing it all in probate? If you want to talk about estate planning and reduce the risk of your assets ending up lost in probate, give us a call. We would be happy to make a road map with you. MAKE TIME FOR RELAXATION Nurturing yourself is a necessity, not a luxury. If you make ample time for self-care, you will be in a better place to handle life’s stressors. Give yourself options like going for a walk, calling a good friend, journaling, or reading a book. LIVE A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE In addition to regular exercise, there are other healthy lifestyle choices that can increase your resistance to stress. Eat a healthy diet; reduce caffeine and sugar; avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs; and get enough sleep. Stress is unavoidable, but it doesn’t have to dictate your life. With stress management techniques, you can avoid chronic stress, reduce your stress levels, and live your life to the fullest.

maintaining stress, you will never be able to control it.

FIND HEALTHY STRATEGIES Withdrawing from loved ones, bingeing on food or alcohol, procrastinating, and sleeping too much are all unhealthy ways to deal with stress. Instead, find unique, healthy coping strategies. Focus on what makes you feel calm and in control. AVOID, ALTER, ADAPT, AND ACCEPT Some stressors are predictable. Learn how to predetermine your reactions by choosing to avoid, alter, adapt, or accept. Avoid people or situations that stress you out. Talk about your feelings instead of bottling them up, create a balanced schedule, reframe your problems, look at the big picture, and practice gratitude. It’s critical to look at the glass as half-full and learn to forgive.

You have more control over stress than you think. Stress management is about taking charge of your lifestyle, thoughts, emotions, and the way you deal with problems. No matter how stressful your life seems, there are steps you can take to regain control. IDENTIFY SOURCES Chronic stress is hard to recognize. Look closely at your habits and excuses. Do you explain away stress as temporary? Do you define stress as an integral part of your life? Do you blame your stress on others? If you don’t recognize your role in creating or

NO ASSET LEFT BEHIND Why Estate Planning Is Not Just About Taxes

A lot of people come to me with a very concerning question: “My estate isn’t all that big, and it doesn’t look like I’ll have a problem with taxes, so why do I need to do estate planning?” The reality is, taxes are only one reason to plan. An estate plan isn’t just a way to manage the taxes your family could owe on assets. It’s a way to make sure you or

your family has a road map to your estate. Without an estate plan, loved ones could be left to make stressful decisions about what the deceased has left behind, and even more frighteningly, these assets could end up in the hands of strangers. Especially when special needs interests are a factor, an estate plan can keep those interests safe from Medicaid and


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ACelebration of HardWork


Americans work hard, and on the first Monday of every September we take a moment to acknowledge their efforts. Labor Day has a fascinating history, and one that you might not expect. The roots of Labor Day stretch back to the Industrial Revolution, when jobs became plentiful, but not without a cost.

As conditions worsened and work days grew longer, unions sprang up as a way to protect the rights of the common laborer. Workers in Canada didn’t fare quite so well because unions were illegal. In 1872, workers marched directly to the door of Canadian Prime Minister John Macdonald, demanding the right to organize. He relented, and the march became a Canadian tradition. candidates. Peter J. McGuire, a carpenter and member of the American Federation of Labor, witnessed the celebrations in Canada and proposed a similar parade to New York City’s Central Labor Union in 1882. That same year, machinist Matthew Maguire proposed a national Labor Day after a public demonstration by the Central Labor Union. As for who brought the tradition to our country, there are two competing

Labor Day didn’t become a federal holiday, though, until a few years later. In 1894, the American Railway Union went on strike against the Pullman Company in what is now known as the Pullman Strike. President Grover Cleveland called in the Army and U.S. Marshals in an attempt to break the strike, and several workers in Chicago lost their lives. In an effort to quell tensions and garner union vote support, President Cleveland signed Labor Day into law just six days after the strike ended. Our country would not be what it is today without the immense effort of laborers. As you enjoy the last long weekend before fall, take a moment to acknowledge just what a difference these hardworking people make.




• 1 cup all-purpose flour • ¾ cup rolled oats

• 1 cup sugar • 2 tablespoons cornstarch • 1 cup water • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • Vanilla ice cream, optional

Barak Lurie Bill Rayman Robert Nevarez Anton Halka Marc Phelps Glenn Fischel Celia Goldman

Instructions • 1 cup packed brown sugar • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon • ½ cup butter, softened • 4 cups chopped, peeled apples 1. Heat the oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, combine the first four ingredients. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press half of mixture into a greased 2½ quart baking dish or a 9-inch square baking pan. Cover with apples. 2. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, water, and

vanilla. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thick and clear. Pour over apples. Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture. 3. Bake 60–65 minutes or until apples are tender. Serve warm, with ice cream if desired.

Recipe courtesy of tasteofhome.com


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School Days: My Journey to Special Needs Law


Dealing With Stress No Asset Left Behind


A Celebration of Hard Work Winning Apple Crisp


A Thank-You for Manchester Heroes

A FRESH START Generous People Give Thanks to Manchester Heroes

On May 22, 2017, a bomb was detonated in Manchester Arena’s foyer as crowds were leaving an Ariana Grande concert. The blast killed 22, injured 116, and incited mass panic.

in the area, immediately ran to aid some of the victims. Parker wrapped a T-shirt around a girl who had lost both of her legs and cradled a dying woman in his arms. Meanwhile, after hearing the explosion, Jones began helping by pulling nails from victims’ bodies.

After Parker’s actions became known, an online fundraising page was set up to give thanks to the local hero. By the Wednesday after the attack, donors had contributed nearly $40,000. After hearing of Jones’ actions, West Ham United co-owner David Sullivan reached out to the public to announce his desire to make Jones a “life-changing” offer and to help him “get back on his feet.” Sullivan told BBC Radio 5 Live he wanted to help Jones by paying for his accommodations for six months and giving him some money to help him turn his life around. Both men are being praised as heroes for their actions and quick thinking at Manchester Arena, and hopes are high that the men will be given a fresh start to pursue more financially secure futures.

In the midst of the confusion, Chris Parker and Stephen Jones, two homeless men


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