Swerdloff Law March 2018


www.lawwithasmile.com • 310-577-9104

MARCH 2018


Instead of scouring a field of clovers or buying a lottery ticket, I’ve come to believe in making my own luck. Sometimes you’re not aware of how fortunate you are until either something wonderful or something terrible happens. I’m feeling extra lucky right now. I recently got back from visiting my son and daughter- in-law in New Mexico. This was a special trip, because I got to meet my very first granddaughter. Our family has grown yet again, and it’s a magical time. I’d forgotten how tiny a newborn is! She was three weeks old when I first met her, and in a week, she gained three-fourths of a pound and grew an inch. I returned from New Mexico floating on air from the excitement of meeting her. I’m back at my desk now, jumping into my next case. But I can’t shake the joy I felt seeing this tiny new human. That joy is contagious. It has colored every part of my life and reminded me what I love about my work. When we acknowledge our blessings, we realize we have an incredible opportunity to give back to others who may not be as fortunate. One of the blessings I’m recognizing is the wonderful community I get to work with. In the last few years, I’ve put the focus back on people in our community who need extra support. My big focus this year is to further support families with special needs. What can I do to make their lives less stressful and to help them achieve reasonable control over their evolving situations?

Many families coping with special needs feel they never have enough support. If you’re the parent of a child with special needs, it can feel like you’re on a treadmill without an off switch. Adapting to a child's changing needs over the years can be a struggle, especially as the child goes from 17 to 18. Suddenly, the child is an adult, and part of being an adult is having more freedom and a lot more responsibility. What does that mean for someone with special needs? It means some of their needs might change. It might involve creating a conservatorship and establishing other plans for the future. But there’s a lot more to this than just the legal aspect. An adult with special needs might need extra support as they seek their first job. Or maybe they want help navigating the challenges of living on their own. One of the incredible families I recently had the pleasure of working with is in this phase. I helped their son set up his conservatorship, and we’re now helping him take control of his life in other capacities. I feel honored that the family turned to me during this phase and sought my counsel. Knowing I have worked with many families in this situation, they asked if I could provide them with guidance and resources. While he faces many challenges, this young man is lucky to have the support of his family. With his parents’ encouragement, he is training for a job, learning to use public transportation, and attending fun events

around the city to build his interpersonal skills. I feel fortunate to be able to use my knowledge to connect them with additional resources and provide the type of support they need. My kids are well past their teens, and I sometimes wonder, “Am I parenting them, or are they parenting me?” In New Mexico, it was amazing to see my son and daughter-in- law become parents for the first time. All of a sudden, it wasn’t just them anymore. They are in charge of a new life and are a true family. There’s a lot to think about and not enough resources out there for families with children who have special needs. If you’re struggling with any part of this, I’m here to help. Even if you don’t need legal advice, I have additional resources to offer. There’s more information on this topic inside the newsletter. I look forward to connecting with you.

Have a happy spring! Until next time,

–Arthur J. Swerdloff


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