When it comes to estate planning as a caregiver for a loved one with special needs or a disability, taking the time to be thoughtful and put your wishes in writing can help ensure a smooth transition and consistency of care. It can also help avoid potentially lengthy legal battles and other unnecessary challenges in an already difficult time. Start by officially naming your future support team, then consider the following ways to help make your loved one’s needs both known and official.
Think of a letter of intent as a handbook that guides your support team on how to provide the best care for your loved one. When creating your letter of intent, no standard set of requirements applies. You can start with basic information and add more over time. You may also find it beneficial to involve other caregivers while creating or reviewing your letter of intent to get other points of view. Note that a letter of intent is not legally binding, unless it includes specific language that the parties are legally bound to the terms.
To help you get started, consider including some of these:
Medicine, nutrition, behavior management, daily routine, tips and tricks, community-based activities (school, job, day program, etc.).
Family information and preferences, medical history and diagnosis, benefits and insurance information, future plans and wishes.
Provide name and contact information for their medical team, case managers, social workers, future care team, friends and family, etc.