Mary asks: “I am thinking about having my sister become the next caregiver of my son if I am no longer here. What can I do to help prepare her for this job?”
In our experience, we have found that your sister will most likely have two main concerns when taking on the role of caregiver when you are no longer here. Her first concern is “What will I need to do on a daily basis?” and secondly “What additional financial costs will exist, and how will I pay for those?”
To alleviate the first concern, we suggest creating a document that is known as a letter of intent. This document does not need to be created by an attorney or financial advisor. The letter of intent will provide your sister with information about your son’s daily life and his experiences, it is your child’s instruction manual. This document should include family information, medical information, and details regarding your son’s daily life. For many families it will include specifics such as the shampoo your son uses, their dietary restrictions, and for some even the side of the car their child MUST sit on.
One family that we have worked with expressed that this document is similar to the instructions we give the babysitter when we go out for a few hours, but it gets down to the nitty gritty of what would need to be done if Mom and Dad never returned from their date night.
You will soon be able to find a Free Course that will guide you in the creation of your own Letter of intent at www.howtosecurethefuture.com.
In order to alleviate the second concern, it often requires the help of a Chartered Special Needs Consultant who is able to determine the cost involved in caring for your son’s lifelong support needs. When working with that professional they will guide you through a process which will cover your desires for your son. Your professional will then transform your desired lifestyle for your into a financial need so that you can ensure enough resources will be available for your sister to care for your son.
It is common that once your family addresses these two concerns it will become much easier for your sister to feel comfortable in assuming the role of caregiver for your son.
For more information on how to prepare for the future, be sure to contact a financial advisor who specializes in serving families with special needs. A Special Needs Plan is driven by what they call Unleash L.I.F.E.™- L.I.F.E. meaning Lasting Independence For Everyone™. This is accomplished with education, action, and support in the creation, implementation, and continued monitoring of a specifically designed lifelong and integrated plan for your family: parents, caregivers, your loved one with special needs and their siblings.
This article was featured in Issue 47 – Motherhood – An Unconditional Love