With all the day-to-day hurdles to overcome, it can be tempting to put important planning for the future on the back-burner. However, by doing so, there is a risk that your children and your family may find themselves in a difficult position.

Our advisers are committed to relieving you and your family of additional worries, and providing advice tailored to your individual situation.

Here are a few examples of how we can help:

Wills

Dying without a will means your estate is distributed in accordance with the Intestacy Rules. This may not be the outcome you would have hoped for. Any money left outright to your disabled child will affect their entitlement to means tested benefits, and might also destabilise their care package. Inheriting a sizeable sum of money may also leave your child vulnerable to the attentions of unscrupulous “new friends”.  These concerns can be easily addressed through appropriate advice and a Will (which may include trusts) tailored specifically to the circumstances, needs and wishes of you and your family.

Trusts   

Did you know that saving money for your disabled child, to help them in the future, could in fact prevent them receiving benefits and a state-funded care package should they need one? If you would like to make sure that money can be available to your child to ‘top up’ their benefits in the future, “trusts” can be a good way of achieving this.

Court of Protection

If your child has money in their own name and turns 16/18 (depending on the bank), you may no longer be able to access their accounts, as your parental authority will cease. Problems can also arise if your child receives money from other sources, such as a gift or an inheritance, as your child is likely to need support in the management of that money, (if it is not held in an appropriate trust).

If your disabled child is unable to make his/her own decisions regarding their finances, it may be necessary to apply to the Court of Protection for someone to be appointed as their Deputy. 

This can be a family member, friend or a professional. We can advise both on the process of appointing a family member as Deputy or in acting as a professional Deputy.

Care, support, funding challenges and disputes

Our team has experience of working closely with family and relevant professionals to make sure that appropriate action is taken to ensure that the support your child needs is delivered.

As your child moves towards adulthood, there will be new challenges to face. Parents can feel side-lined  in discussions to consider where the future and the best interests of their child might lie. This is often an emotional time for all involved, and a family may find themselves in unfamiliar territory. 

Our team is highly experienced in handling funding challenges, to ensure your young person secures the services and the financial help he or she is entitled to, and in relation to disputes as to what sort of provision may be in your young person’s best interests.

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)

 As a parent, looking after your children is your priority. It is important to consider though, what might happen if circumstances (such as an illness or an injury) caused you to lack capacity to make your own decisions or to manage your own affairs. Who would have access to your money and be able to pay the bills? Who would make health and welfare decisions for you, if you became unable to make those decisions for yourself? Preparing a LPA enables you to appoint those you trust most to make decisions for you, and so keep the family ship afloat, if you lose mental capacity yourself, at some point in the future. 

LPAs can cover property and financial affairs, and health and welfare. We can help guide you through the process as well as preparing the necessary documents. 

For further information

To find out how we can help you please contact Donna Holmes.