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The importance of writing a Letter of Guidance

Published October 24, 2008

When you can no longer care for a loved one with special needs, a Letter of Guidance can help make their transition to a new living situation go as smoothly as possible. The Letter of Guidance, written on the premise that no one knows a child better than a parent, contains important information about your loved one’s history, likes, dislikes, current health and emotional status, hopes and dreams, as well as what your wishes are for their future.

Some areas that need to be addressed in a Letter of Guidance include:

• Family and medical history
• Education
• Religion
• Rights and values
• Likes and dislikes
• Day programs and work
• Daily routine
• Living skills

Informing future caregivers about the details of your loved one’s personality, values and routine is vital in making sure they continue to live a fulfilling life after you are no longer able to provide care.

To learn more about New York Special Needs Planning, visit

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