A letter of intent is a notice to make parties aware of an impending action, and the terms regarding the action. The document may be used in several situations, such as a notice detailing a corporation's plan to purchase or acquire a product or company.
A company may issue such a document if they plan to offer public stock options, restructure their organization, merge with another firm, or engage in any other course of action that may take place during the lifetime of a business. These documents are often created with the collaboration of upper level management and legal representatives, then disseminated throughout the other levels of an organization. A letter of intent can be used during sessions of negotiation and it demonstrates that a party fully intends on making a business decision.
In the family court system, a letter of intent describes the wishes and expectations a parent has for their offspring, should the parent pass away. This document may be used by the court to determine placement of children.