What is a letter of intent or guidance?

Planning for the future is critical when you have a special needs child. You have to be sure that once you are no longer here there will be someone to take care of him or her.

While you certainly should get all the legal matters, such as a trust or will, in place, you should also consider leaving behind instructions. According to AARP, you can do this with a letter of intent or guidance.

The goal

A letter of intent or guidance is simply a non-legal document that tells a new guardian or caregiver about your child. You can use it to explain things that would not fit into a legal document and to ensure whoever takes over for you after your death knows about your child’s likes, dislikes, preferences and any other important points.

The content

In your letter, you should offer as many details as possible. You could write about what a typical day entails. Include schedules and routines. Give as much content as you possibly can to help someone understand what it is like taking care of your child and what your child will need on a daily basis.

You can also include information about your preferences and wishes. Make sure you include anything that you feel the new caregiver must know to properly take care of your child and give him or her the best life possible.

The management

Once you have your letter of intent or guidance, you should update it on a regular basis. If anything changes, make sure to update. Also, do routine updates every couple of years.

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