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3 Reasons Why We Serve the Special Needs Community

Recently at a networking meeting, I was asked, “How did you get started working with the special needs community?”  I love talking about the story so I gladly took a few moments to tell it and now I’d love to share it with you. While I was in law school, I began working for a small firm.  One of my first clients was an elderly gentleman suffering from a combination of diseases that had left him paralyzed and unable to speak.  However, this remarkable man had not lost the ability to communicate.  This was my first experience communicating with a person with special needs. I was 26 years old, had been through public school, college and law school, but had very little interaction with individuals with disabilities. Working with this man was a phenomenal experience as I was able to help relieve some stress from his life as well as from his wife who was charged with caring for him.
Later, I had the pleasure of working with a woman in her eighties who had two adult children with special needs.  Both children were in their upper forties. My client had cared for her children for their entire lives as many parents of special needs children do. She decided that she needed to do some planning for the future in case something happened to her. While this was a difficult thing for her to talk about, I was blessed to work with her and learn from her dedication to her children. We were able to give her some peace in knowing that there was a plan in place just when she was no longer able to be around. There is no greater feeling of accomplishment than to see the weight lift off the shoulders of your client.

The last client I will tell you about is a 90-year-old retired World War II Captain. This gentleman first came to me when he was 89 years old to update his estate plan. I helped him draft his estate plan and he left. However, he came back a year or so later for some help with a real estate issue. The Captain never made an appointment, he just showed up when he wanted, but I was always happy to see and talk with him. This time he came on my birthday and we were able to share some birthday cake while he told stories and picked on all of us young’uns in the office. Unfortunately, as it often happens, over the next year, The Captain began to lose the ability to care for himself mentally, although physically he was still a force. Thankfully, we had done the proper estate planning and his daughter was eventually able to step in and assist as his guardian.

These are only three experiences that led me to fall more in love with the special needs community. At the end of it all, I’m the one who is blessed to be able to assist the people who walk through our doors seeking help with estate planning and guardianship law.

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