A “Letter of Intent” is a detailed description of a child (or incapacitated spouse) with a disability, including explanations of his or her medical, physical, mental, emotional, family, social, religious, educational and recreational history, abilities, preferences and dislikes. This Letter of Intent is a vital part of the planning process where a family member with special needs is involved. The parents or spouse of that individual may not always be there to care for him/her, and it is essential that any future caregiver have a full understanding of the individual’s history, needs, likes and dislikes in order to properly care for him/her. Although the Letter of Intent is not a legally binding document, it will provide this information about the disabled child or spouse which will enable the future caregiver to step into this role with informed confidence.
The information should be completed in as much detail as possible. Keeping this information on a word processor will enable the parents or spouse to make changes easily when necessary. The Letter of Intent should be reviewed regularly so that it can be kept current.
Once the Letter is completed, it should be signed by the parents or spouse and preferably notarized to establish its authenticity. It should then be kept in a safe place with other important papers. If the identity of the future caregiver/guardian is known, the Letter should be shared with them now. This will enable them to become familiar with the child’s or spouse’s needs and thus make an informed decision about their ability to carry out this very important role.
The letter of intent forms we can furnish for your use are not meant to cover every detail that should be in every Letter of Intent. The information will vary based on the unique circumstances of each individual and his/her family. The outline is suggested as a general guide.
The preparation of the Letter of Intent is not simple, and it takes some time. However, the time spent in putting together this information about your child or spouse will prove quite valuable and will help ensure the continued best care for your child or spouse throughout his or her lifetime.
Call us today for help with your estate and special needs planning.