Who can you trust to look after the best interests of your loved ones when you’re gone?
The obvious answer is to make a Will so that your inheritance is shared in accordance with your wishes.
But what happens if you have a partner or child with a disability, or perhaps a child with special needs, or you wish to leave an inheritance for a vulnerable adult?
The importance of these issues is highlighted by new figures from the National Health Executive which reveal that councils in England are being inundated with over 5,000 new requests for adult social care services every day – and this comes at a time when local authority budgets are under financial pressure with a warning that they could have to ration social care in some regions.
This is where a Trust in your Will can help you make provision for your loved ones.
We live in an age where medical advances mean people with severe disabilities are living longer, and people are more likely to be diagnosed with special needs.
You can, of course, provide the care and support your children need when you are alive, but what happens when you are gone?
You can leave them a specific amount of money in your Will, but this could lead to difficulties further down the line:
Leaving your child with a large amount of money could put them in a vulnerable position. For example, making them a target of abuse from others.
Where your child is not able to deal with their own finances.
Where your child could lose their means-tested benefits.
There is the option of leaving the money to someone you trust to look after your child, but this can have pitfalls too:
You never know how someone’s changing situation and finances (e.g. divorce, bankruptcy, etc.) could impact on your child.
If they die, their estate could go directly to their own children (or other beneficiaries), leaving your child with nothing.
But you can make sure you have ring-fenced your inheritance for your child by making a Trust in your Will, and you can dictate the terms.
Trusts work in different ways – speak to an expert to find out which would be the best one for you. Let’s take an example: The Disabled Person’s Trust. It will allow you to:
Leave some or all of your estate to someone who is unable to manage the inheritance for themselves.
Establish the amount, and appoint the Trustees to manage the inheritance
Leave a Letter of Wishes stating how you would prefer the Trust is run by the Trustees.
There are other advantages too – a Trust does not affect any means-tested benefits, and the money cannot be used to pay off any debts.
Your beneficiary cannot be forced into giving the assets away or using the money for inappropriate means.