SWERDLOFF In The Know
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A YEAR OF HOPE
2017 was a crazy year. In addition to everything going on in the White House, there was flooding in Houston, fires in California, and hurricanes in Puerto Rico, not to mention the other natural disasters people battled all over the country. But you know what? We are hopeful. 2018 is a year of hope. It will have its own dramas, sure, but there are also new, wonderful things happening. I shared with you my love for deep sea fishing, and in November, my son, Andrew, and I went on a three-day fishing trip. On the second day, we caught a whole lot of fish, resulting in a very fun barbecue with family and friends following a baby shower for my son Eric's wfie. My younger son, Andrew barbecued all day so we could enjoy the tasty, fresh fish. With our excitement bubbling over from that trip, Andrew and I made plans to go fishing in Mexico later this year. We’ll be in the midst of the fish with marlin and sailfish jumping all around us. If you haven’t seen a sailfish before, look it up. They’re magnificent fish, with a long nose similar to a swordfish, and a tall dorsal fin that gives them their name. They’re also the fastest fish in the ocean and have been clocked at 68 miles per hour! We won’t be eating these fish, though. We’ll catch and release, so the thrill is all in hoisting a fish out of the water, taking a picture of your catch, and returning it to its home. I can’t wait for this adventure!
lovely — crisp at night and warm during the day. The expanse of blue, sunny sky there is incredible. Looking out my window every morning, I was treated to a desert panorama with blue skies as far as the eye could see. Eric and his wife Persiilla hosted us and several of their friends, some from right up the street while others came from several hours away to spend the holiday with us. At the end of the night, a neighbor stopped in to join the gathering. One of my son’s friends from school was only planning to stop by for a few days, and ended up staying for Thanksgiving dinner. She brought the party — the puppy party, that is. Her three dachshunds joined her for the trip and were happy to settle in one place for a few days joined by Eric's two Chihuahuas. When it comes to special-needs law, there’s also a reason for you to feel hopeful. In 2016, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act, and it went into effect in 2017. This act allows individuals with special needs to self-settle their own trusts, giving them back authority over their own lives.
Last year, one of my clients, a young college student, was able to create his own trust with the money he had inherited. He can now establish his own financial future, and it was empowering for him. In the past, if someone inherited money, got a settlement, or otherwise had the capacity to establish a trust, it had to be set up by third parties, even if the person knew exactly what was going on. Now, if the person is an adult, they can create their own trust. This gives self-respect back to people and helps them feel like a participant in their own life, rather than a bystander. I’m looking forward to seeing more positive cases stem from this change. I also wanted to share with you the news that 2017 was one of the best years yet for our firm. I’m letting you know because it’s thanks to you! I’m incredibly grateful to all the clients and friends of our firm who’ve made that possible. You make me love what I do!
May you start 2018 with feelings of hope.
Happy New Year!
Our trip to New Mexico during Thanksgiving also stirred my travel bug. The weather was
–Arthur J. Swerdloff
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