What after us?
Who will take care of the child after us?
Will the guardian or the trustees be fully aware about my child requirement?
A parent of a child with special needs will encounter questions such as these, and will work towards finding a solution to address them, to ensure the security and safety of their child’s future. Drafting a Letter Of Intent (LOI) can be the first step towards finding solutions the parents seek for their child. An LOI isn’t a legal document much like a Will or a Trust, but serves to be a guiding resource for future guardians/caregiver/trustees.
What is LOI?
A LOI as it is known is not a legal document but a description about your child’s life and vision. This one document passes on vital information about your child to the future caretaker(s).
How to write?
One may use personal discretion to decide the contents of this letter. A letter of intent can be divided into the following sections:
- Family history: Your child’s place of birth, and details about schooling and place of residence throughout his/her childhood. It can also include details about where the child may wish (if any) to settle down in the future. Details about siblings, relatives, grandparents and other family members must be included here. Experiences and journey of the two parents from birth of the child and the family’s vision for the child may be included in this section of the letter.
- Living: A brief overview about your child’s living. His day to day affairs such as when he wakes up, what he does and his daily routine will be vital information to provide. Daily habits, likes or dislikes should be included.
- Education and employment: The current education of the child, special classes, special schools, recreational/extracurricular activities, vocational trainings and other interests with names of specific teachers and support staff should be included here. The vision of parents about future schooling must be specified in detail.
- Health care: Current health condition of the child, with detailed history of the child’s healthcare since birth. Specific names of doctors, therapists, clinics, hospitals etc. may be included in this section for future reference. Details about the frequency of various therapies, medications along with its purpose may be useful for the future caregivers of the child.
- Behaviors: It’s important that future caretakers of your child have an understanding of your child behavior. It is important to gather an understanding of the child’s likes, dislikes, preferred company among friends and family. It will be of great help to provide the future caregiver an overview of how behavior of the child may have modified over the years. Details of specific behavior management strategies will also be beneficial information in this section.
- Religious environment- Details about a particular religious/spiritual interest that the child may lean towards, and connect to for peace of mind and happiness.
- Social environment- Specifications regarding places that the child may like visiting. For e.g. if you the child has a keen interest towards nature and enjoys spending time in scenic locales, then such details may be specified here.
- Residential needs: Details of specifications about the future place of residence for your child. It may also be beneficial to include specific locations that the child may NOT be comfortable living in on a daily basis.
- Final provision: Describe your wish for the final arrangement of the child. Type of funeral, religious service, burial or any other aspect which you have thought about.
- Financial information: Details of financial planning for the child. It will be helpful to describe overview of assets that child will inherit, and how you would like them to be utilized by/for the child, for his/her safety and security.
Make sure you sign and date the letter; perform periodic updates to include additional information over the years.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that this guide is for information purposes only. Please consult a financial advisor for any legal consultations or advise pertaining to your needs.
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