There comes a time in the normal order of events when parents will no longer be around to care for their children. This can be particularly worrying if they have a child with special needs and will be unable to look after themselves into adulthood.
Who will take on the responsibilities and how can parents ensure that any financial provision they have made is carried out in accordance with their wishes and in the best interests of their child in the future?
There can be several reasons why the adult child is unable to fend for themselves, including down’s syndrome or life limiting illnesses, which will require continued support and decision making on their behalf for many years to come.
Do you have a son or daughter with special needs, requiring help to preserve their inheritance?
We recently advised a couple with an autistic daughter in her late 20s and still living at home to set up Trust. There was a substantial financial estate and the ongoing needs of the daughter meant it would be detrimental to her future care and benefits if that money were left by way of a normal bequest in a Will on the parents’ death.
We were able to set up a Trust which will be overseen by a younger family member, ensuring the daughter will retain her benefits while the estate will be ring fenced if the parents die.
Trustees must be people you know will be responsible and capable of carrying out the role. In circumstances such as the one we describe, the normal choice of Trustee will be:
- A family member of friend – Someone close to the family and who knows the circumstances well, putting them in the ideal position to care for the future needs and welfare of the beneficiary.
- A professional person – It may be that there isn’t a family member who can fulfill the role of trustee, there may be no one available, they may not want to take on the responsibility or they may be incapable or unsuitable. In this case, a professional person such as a solicitor could prove the ideal option.
- Both – It is possible to have a family member or friend and a solicitor or other professional person to fill the role of trustees. This means having someone who knows the beneficiary and their situation well, allied to the legal knowledge that a professional person brings.
There are several different types of Trusts and it’s important to seek out professional advice in coming to a decision of which one works best for you.
We have many years experience in advising in such matters and drafting the right, bespoke, legal document which will provide you with the reassurance of knowing your wishes will be adhered to and your family is taken care of after you’re gone.