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Trusts and Wills for Disabled or Vulnerable beneficiaries

When preparing a will or putting assets into trust, consideration must be given to the potential beneficiaries and whether it is appropriate for the assets to go to them outright. If any of the beneficiaries lack capacity to manage their own finances or are vulnerable and need help to manage their affairs, then it is important to ensure that the assets are placed into an appropriate trust for them.  Where any of the beneficiaries are in receipt of means tested benefits then this should also be considered to ensure that the gift can be made without detriment to the beneficiary and any benefits or care he or she may already receive.

Trustees

Trustees must be appointed to manage a trust fund on behalf of the beneficiaries. It is usual for a disabled or discretionary trust to be implemented and the trustees will then manage the funds and decide how and for what the funds are used. It is helpful for a letter of wishes to be prepared for trustees to give them guidance as to how the trust assets should be used for the benefit of the beneficiaries. This could confirm that the trustees should allow beneficiaries to live in a trust property or for money to be used for additional care or holidays, for example.

Beneficiaries

The trust fund can be used for the beneficiary’s maintenance or benefit by the trustees during their life or lives. If they are able to, the beneficiaries themselves or their carers/ family can request funds from the trust on their behalf for various things. It may be occasional purchases of equipment, household goods or holidays for example. If when the beneficiary dies there remain assets in the trust then ultimate beneficiaries can be named who will receive the assets remaining at that stage.

At Jennifer Melly law we can prepare a will or a lifetime trust document to include provisions for disabled or vulnerable beneficiaries. We have experience both in preparing the trust documents as well as acting as trustees for vulnerable beneficiaries. For further information or to discuss your requirements then please contact us on 01639 630057.

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