While having a properly constructed estate plan from a legal perspective is critical in protecting a child with special needs, it is equally important for the parents of a child with special needs to make every effort for a seamless transition following a parent’s death for the caregivers of a child.
Towards that end, a letter of intent is critical in providing assistance to future caregivers. As a parent, you know all of those special things about your child which likely no one else in the world does. You know what sets your child off and what calms your child down. You know what routines and schedules are important to your child and what items they need in bed with them in order to sleep soundly through the night. You know what therapies have worked with your children, what medications have worked and those that have failed to enhance the quality of your child’s life.
At your death, this critical information is lost unless recorded in some fashion that is easily accessible to the people who assume responsibility for your child going forward. This could mean future guardians, trustees of a trust for your children or simply family members who step into the void left upon your death. A letter of intent contains all of that information.
The letter of intent should be updated annually so that it always contains current information. If you would like a copy of a sample letter of intent, please let us know and we will provide you with one. Please note that this letter of intent should be updated annually as the needs of your child change over time. A copy of the letter of intent can be kept with your attorney or simply in a file clearly marked in your home. It is not a legal document and legal counsel is not required in order to prepare this document.