A Closer Look at Letters of Intent: Special Needs

Jan 27, 2020 | Special Needs Trust

In a previous Trusted Ideas post, we outlined the fundamental reasons why you might want to include a letter of intent in your estate planning documents.

Having a letter of intent in place is especially important for families with a child or heir with special needs. A completed letter of intent provides relief to all family members involved by bringing a sense of normalcy and peace to the child or heir, despite life’s transitions.

Often, for example, parents serve as the primary caregivers for a child or adult child with special needs. A letter of intent, which outlines the day-to-day, as well as the overall needs and preferences of the child, can provide crucial information if those parents become incapacitated or pass away. This document will help the child (or heir) and their loved ones cope with the loss of the primary caregiver.

Information frequently included in a special needs letter of intent includes, but is not limited to:

  • Family history
  • Medical history
  • Current medications and/or current therapies
  • Medical professionals’ contact information (include any doctors, therapists, etc.)
  • Daily routine and schedule information
  • Personal preferences which may include details related to routines, social interactions, diet, therapies, etc.
  • Any mobility details
  • Contact information for personal friends
  • If any pets, details related to care
  • Current educational or extracurricular activities and/or employment
  • Any details which may help a new caregiver
  • Personal statement reflecting any thoughts, hopes, or wishes for your child or heir’s future

Click here to download a fillable special needs letter of intent form.