EDITOR’S NOTE- This article is by guest blogger Stephanie Lopez of HomeInsurance.org, and FriedmanLaw thanks Stephanie for taking the time to address this important topic.
If you have a special needs child, you should take the time to prepare a letter of intent for your child. This will help any caregivers your child may have determined how to properly care for your child, and will remove confusion about your child’s specific needs. Rather than waiting to prepare a letter of intent, make it a priority to prepare one now.
Letter of Intent Definition
For a special needs child, a letter of intent provides guidance for anyone acting as a caretaker for your child in the future. Although you probably wish that you could be there to attend to your child’s specific needs, there will be times when someone not as familiar with your child will need to take over your role as caretaker.
A letter of intent typically includes information about your child’s medical history and education. If your child receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid because of his or her disability, outline the nature of these benefits in the letter of intent. The final purpose of a letter of intent for your special needs child is explaining your goals for your child. Do you feel that your child will eventually be able to live alone? Do you hope that your child finds employment after completing school? Talk about these hopes candidly in the letter.
Special Needs Attorneys
To draw up a letter of intent for your special needs child, you may want to consult a special needs attorney such as Lawrence A. Friedman of FriedmanLaw. A special needs attorney can help you with estate planning as well as special needs concerns. The letter of intent for your special needs child would be included in this planning.
However, since a letter of intent is not a formal document, you will need to draft one on your own if you do not want to go through the process of estate planning. While a letter of intent is not a formal legal document, it will be used to discover more about your child’s needs and assure that your desires pertaining your child’s future are taken into consideration.
The letter of intent will start by talking about what kind of special needs your child has because of his or her medical condition. Below is more detailed information about the content that should be contained in the letter of intent.
This includes the name of your child’s condition and any relevant information pertaining to this condition that a potential caretaker would not know. Include medical history and any unique symptoms your child may have.
Write not only about your child’s past education, but also about any future plans you have for your child’s education. Discuss learning disabilities and which teaching methods work for your child.
Government assistance and savings put aside for your child should be mentioned.
Make your family’s beliefs clear so that caretakers can do their best to reflect these beliefs when taking care of your special needs child. This guide can help you draft a letter of intent.
Caring for your special needs child can be complicated. To prepare for the future when you may not be able to care for your child, write a letter of intent to guide your child’s caretakers.
A letter of intent is most effective when coordinated with special needs planning as wills and trusts may be important tools to implement your intent. FriedmanLaw stands ready to help develop an effective plan to carry out your wishes and meet the needs of your loved one with special needs.
About the Author: Stephanie Lopez’s passion for people and the environment has lead her to pursue a career in writing. At this time, Stephanie is working as a part-time writer for HomeInsurance.org specializing in home insurance.