Since this month’s topic is legal issues, I wanted to start looking at what I’ve heard experts say is the most important “first step” in planning for the future – the Letter of Intent (LOI).

From what I’ve read (I’m no lawyer) the LOI is NOT a legally binding document, but it is a way for parents to let their wishes be known.  It’s also a tool to help other caregivers understand your loved one’s habits and routines.  

It’s important to create – and update.

It’s a Daunting Task

I’m guilty of procrastinating on this.  I haven’t wanted to think about a time when Josh and I are separated.  Most of us don’t.  I am starting, reluctantly, to admit to myself that planning for the future is something I owe my son.   So, I’ll share with you what I’m learning, the resources I find helpful, and hopefully it will inspire me to get this done!

Starting Off Easy

When a task seems overwhelming, sometimes it’s easier to start off small.   I found an article that helps me do just that.  It suggests thinking about, and writing down, what someone would need to care for your son/daughter if you went away for a weekend.  

“What would they need to know to maneuver 48 hours of caregiving?”

That sounds do-able….   The full article (below) has more great ideas and a check list.

The Next Step

After you get the beginning done, you may want to put it into some kind of legal format.  I found another resource that has more of a “legal document” look to it, and more information on what to include.
Found at Bridges4Kids

Include Everyone

If you have other children who might be taking on a caregiving role, it’s important to involve them in the planning.  Since Josh is my one and only- I’ll defer to the resident sibling on “The Road” – Marianne Marts.   You can visit her at Joey’s Up with Downs for more information on the sib journey.
This quote comes from a study that was done online.  It found that “many siblings yearn for greater involvement in the lives of their siblings with disabilities, but need more information, networking opportunities and supports.”

Get Started

This is not going to be easy.   I’m going to try.   Have you writing an LOI?  Have any good advice that you’d be willing to share?  Have you procrastinated too?  Let’s work together and share experiences!