Downloadable Letter of Intent Form – An 88 Item Checklist
Showing Parents How to Communicate their Wishes and Knowledge
about their Son or Daughter with a Disability to Future
Mark Russell, co-author of the book,
Planning For The Future:
Providing a Meaningful Life for a Child with a Disability After
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information in PDF format here.
How can you, as
a parent, be assured that your son or daughter will lead as
complete a life as possible after your death? What can you do to
make sure your hopes and aspirations are realized?
Writing a letter of intent is a critical step in the planning
process. This critical document permits parents to communicate
vital information about their son or daughter to future
Parents, you are the experts on your child. You receive a lot of
important advice from professionals, but no one understands your
son or daughter’s needs and desires better than you. If you
become incapacitated or die, it is vital that future caregivers
have access to your knowledge.
Future caregivers might be relatives, friends, or professionals
– anyone who will care for your child when you are no longer
able. Do these people know
· all the pertinent information about your child’s medical
· the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all the
professionals who serve your son or daughter?
· the names of professionals who you think should be avoided?
· where you would like your child to live, or even if you don’t
know exactly, the type of place that should be considered?
· the recreational activities that make your son or daughter
· the type of work, if any, that your son or daughter should do?
· and all the other information necessary to care for your son
For instance, one mother wrote in her Letter of Intent for her
9-year-old son with a seizure disorder, “Don’t forget that my
child only takes his medication with cherry Jell-O.” See how
vital it is to put this kind of information in a letter to
Alex Haley, the American biographer and author once said, “When
an old person dies, it’s like a library burning.” Parents, you
have spent a lifetime advocating for your child and becoming an
expert on his or her needs. Don’t let that expertise perish when
you die or become incapacitated. Write your knowledge and wishes
for your son or daughter in a Letter of Intent.
To help you with
writing your Letter of Intent, I am providing a free
downloadable (PDF) Letter of Intent Form – an 88-item checklist
that comes straight from our book, Planning For The Future.
A word about me. My name is L. Mark Russell. I am an attorney
and have spent 25 years helping parents plan for the future
well-being of their son or daughter with a disability. I also
have a brother with a disability. My father wrote in his Letter
of Intent all kinds of helpful information (big stuff and little
stuff) for me to remember to help make Jon’s life better– that I
should take him to Nashville every July for his birthday (he
loves country and western music), residential admission
information, that Jon should be within walking distance to a
church since Jon doesn’t use public transportation, that Jon
should have only one roommate instead of three, the type of
prescription mouthwash he uses, and several more pages of vital
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