In any comprehensive estate plan, a letter of instruction (LOI) is an important component. An…
Thinking Beyond a Will—Memorandum of Intent
As we age, we are taught that it is important to have a will. Some of us recognize the value of having a Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, Living Will, and Living Trusts.
What happens beyond those items?
Do the aforementioned documents say anything about your loved ones? Is there any insight into the person that you are so dedicated to caring for? Wouldn’t you like the person stepping into your shoes—once you are no longer here—to know all the little things about your loved one, beyond the money that you left for them?
Why aren’t more of us including guidance about the little things that our loved one likes so that the transition to a new caregiver can be easier on both the caregiver and the loved one?
As a mother of two very different boys, I can tell you that just because they are raised in the same home…they are still two different little boys. Each has their own likes and dislikes. While loving and caring for them, I have insight into how to please both of them.
Wouldn’t it help someone—stepping into my shoes—if they knew the little things that I know about my children? Who likes chocolate ice cream? Which of my boys will have a temper tantrum if you try to get him to eat a hamburger? Who has a blanket that they like to sleep with? Who will only go to one dentist and no one else in the practice? Which one will talk the pediatrician’s ear off when asked “how are things going?” and “how do you feel?”
Caregivers should be including a Memorandum of Intent in their estate planning.
Your loved one likely has a support system, beyond you, that helps them through each day. You want to make sure that your successors know who the family members, friends, and organizations are so that they can be involved in this new transition. Make sure that you are reporting any identifying information—that is so often requested—so that no one has to wonder. If you are the caregiver for your children with or without special needs, tell them if your child has specific things that calm them, upset them or comfort them. What is their current medical condition? Who are their current doctors? Do they find support in religion? Do they like to attend services weekly, daily, monthly? If you have young children, where do they go to school? Do you intend for them to stay at that school or is it your expectation that your child will be moved to accommodate the guardian’s routine?
There are so many little things that we just assume will always be done for our loved ones. If you don’t tell people about these things, you can’t expect that they will be done. Visit our website and complete the Memorandum of Intent to give yourself peace of mind in the future.
Deanna M. Eble
Russo Law Group, P.C.
100 Quentin Roosevelt Blvd., Suite 102
Garden City, NY 11530
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