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Parents of disabled children are often unsure of the best way to provide for their child's future which can lead to delays in making a Will.

However, if you don't make a Will or don’t put enough provision in a Will for a disabled child, there is a risk of a challenge later on by the child, or the local authority on the child's behalf. This can then impact on your other children, or other beneficiaries within the Will.  Alternatively, if you leave assets directly to a disabled child a number of other difficulties arise including:

  • They may lose the right to means tested benefits if they inherit a lump sum;
  • The Court of Protection will need to appoint an individual to manage the financial affairs and make decisions on the child’s behalf if they lack the mental capacity to manage their own finances.

Setting up a Protective Trust

However, by setting up a Protective Trust, you can protect your child from the problems above. In a Protective Trust Will, money is placed in a discretionary trust rather than being left to the child directly. You then appoint trustees who decide how the money will be distributed between your beneficiaries (including the child in question).  In addition, you can write a 'side letter' to the trustees to guide them on how you would like it administering.

This means that your child's entitlement to means tested benefits is not affected as they do not own the trust money until it is paid out to them. Neither does the estate have to involve the Court of Protection should there be any issues relating to mental capacity.

Under a Protective Trust Will, your child's interests and inheritance are protected by the trustees and you can be reassured that their inheritance will go towards ensuring that they have the best quality of life possible.

Please contact Nadia Faki on 01858 445 480 for details or to arrange a free initial appointment at any of our offices in Leicester, Wigston or Market Harborough.