Action Plan–8 Weeks to a Letter of Intent

Comprehensive planning for your child with special needs includes both legal planning to ensure financial security and information-gathering in order to write a guide for future caregivers.  My hope is to alleviate some of the worries and unique concerns parents face when thinking about the future of their special needs children.

The Letter of Intent is intended to be the place for you to be clear about your intentions for your child’s future.  The place for you to share the benefit of your knowledge about the daily needs and routines of your child.  A place to share your hopes and desires for their future.  A place to gather all the pertinent medical information and contact information of those that are most important to the health and well-being of your special needs child.

Creating a document that encompasses so much information is a labor of love.  Perhaps you have already been keeping good records, however, I suspect for most of us it has been all too easy to put off this task.

I propose that over the next eight weeks, we begin the process of what will be a continuing journal of both yours and your child’s hopes and dreams.  Why so long?  Much of the medical information may take time to gather.  You may have to dig through some old records and storage boxes.  You may need to contact some people to ensure they wish to be included in your child’s future plans, or find out who might be able to succeed them if they are no longer available.  These are important conversations, and should not be rushed.

I’m going to take this journey with you.  There’s a saying about how the shoemaker’s children have no shoes.  I have to admit I have not yet written my Letter of Intent.  I understand just how difficult and time-consuming a task this is, therefore I’m not going to ask you to do anything I am not going to do myself.  I can promise we will all sleep just a little better after completing this task.

On a practical level, if you are reading this, you have access to a computer.  Word processing software makes it easy to create a Letter of Intent that is simple to update annually or after any major change in either yours or your child’s life.  I suggest printing it out after it is finished or revised and leaving a copy with your other legal papers.

Finally, anyone who comes into my office for a consultation will leave with a CD which includes a pre-printed Letter of Intent form which can simply be filled in with your personal information and printed from your computer.  Please call me at (516) 223-4800 to make an appointment to discuss your planning needs.

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