More than five years ago my mother and I set up a joint bank account. Three years ago I moved the funds to an account in my n...Read more
Writing a Memorandum of Intent for a Special Needs Child
- August 3rd, 2017
How can you ensure that your special needs child will remain well cared for and secure once others assume the role of guardian or caregiver? While creating a financial plan and establishing a specialized trust are central to preparing for your child's future, special needs planners also advise families to write down their intentions and expectations in a document referred to as a Memorandum of Intent, also known as a "Letter of Intent."
The Memorandum is not legally binding and, when directions conflict, those in wills, trusts and other legal documents take precedence. But for "non-legal" matters, it will serve as the primary source of information about your child, providing a roadmap for the courts, guardians, caregivers and others involved in your child's life. That can be critical in easing your child's transition, ensuring continuity of care and treatment, as well as appropriate decision making regarding living arrangements and other lifestyle choices.
Local Elder Law Attorneys in Ashburn, VA
Hale Ball Carlson Baumgartner Murphy PLC
Loretta Morris Williams is a certified elder law attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. Ms. Williams was admitted to the Council of Advanced Practitioners, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) in 2012. She serves as President of the Virginia Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Ms. Willia...
Margaret A. O'Reilly, PC
Margaret A. O’Reilly is an estate planning and elder law attorney with over thirty-five years of legal experience. Attorney O’Reilly graduated from Duke University with a degree in psychology, and received her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts. For over 15 y...
Topics that can be included in a Memorandum, include the following:
Individuals and organizations that should be contacted upon your death or incapacity
Your child's health care and therapeutic needs
Your preferences for education, religion, and childrearing practices
Contact information for doctors, therapists and teachers
Your child's personal history, degree of independence or mobility, behavioral issues, and need for assistive technologies
Your child's interests and personality traits
The location of medical records and other important documents.
While writing a Memorandum of Intent can be time-consuming and emotionally taxing, it's very important not to postpone this task. Once the Memorandum is complete, place the original in a secure location and distribute copies to others involved in your child's life. Then, mark your calendar, setting aside time to revise the Memorandum at least once a year so it will continue to reflect your child's current life stage and situation.
If you have a child with special needs, ask your attorney about including a Memorandum of Intent in your child's care plan. To find a qualified elder law attorney near you, click here.
For more about writing a Memorandum of Intent, click here.
Last Modified: 08/03/2017