As parents or carers of a family member with a vulnerability, whether that is a Learning Disability or learning difficulty; a mental health or physical disability or a vulnerability due to lifestyle, you will have fought for years to obtain packages of support or services for your child.
You will have (or will be) watching them transition from children’s services to adult services, from the paediatric medical teams to the adult. When the system has failed them, you will have picked up the pieces.
You worry who will be there for your loved one after you have died.
You want to provide for them from your Will, leaving them an inheritance to improve the quality of their life, something to pay for those things that the State can’t provide.
However, you know that anything you leave could cause the loss of all those services or benefits you have spent so long fighting to obtain.
The good news is that there is an answer to your questions and there is a clear path through the difficulties.
You will have to use a special structure to ensure that your wishes are carried out properly and your vulnerable or disabled beneficiary is protected. I can help you with this, making sure their means tested benefits or social care and support packages are secured whilst at the same time, providing for your loved one.
First of all, you need to put a Will in place, this is essential and the consequences of dying without a Will can be catastrophic for your disabled or vulnerable family member.
Secondly, you will need to use a Trust as a vehicle to hold the inheritance for your vulnerable beneficiary after you have died.
People usually assume that a Disabled Beneficiary trust is the “go to” trust but in fact, that is only sometimes the case.
Then, you should see if Lasting Powers of Attorney are a possibility for your loved one so you can help them to manage their finances and make health decisions throughout their adulthood.
If LPAs are not viable, you may need to make an application for a Deputyship order but we can discuss this further if necessary.
Without doubt, you need specialist advice about the right type of trust and the best way to structure your affairs whilst you are alive and after you have died. Simple Wills are hardly ever appropriate.
For more information or to get started, please contact me.
I have been a full member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) since 2012 and I hold two additional STEP Advanced Certificates – one in Advising Vulnerable Clients and the other in Trust Disputes. I am one of a relatively small number of practitioners with these.
I am also one of the few recommended solicitors on the Mencap, SCOPE, National Autistic Society and Alzheimer’s Society Recommended Solicitor Lists.
I present seminars with Mencap and various other charities and over the years, I have helped hundreds of families make the right choices for their vulnerable beneficiary.
I am also a fully accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) and a Dementia Friend.
People often say that getting started is the hardest part of all. Because you are reading this, you should feel encouraged that you have already begun the process, and my job is to help you from here. Simply pick up the phone and call me or drop me a short email.