Having a child with a disability or special needs is hard but endlessly rewarding. At Will and Probate Services we know that you want to do the best for your children and we help you plan for the big things. You probably don’t want to think about what might happen if you died, but there are things you need to put in place.
If you have a child with a disability or special needs, there is no more important question than “Who will look after my child if I am not around?” Instinctively most parents will know the answer, but the only way to ensure that the right person is appointed is to make a Will that specifies who is to be the child’s guardian.A disabled child is at a far higher risk of being taken into local authority care if his or her parents die. Make sure your child is protected.
If a child is bereaved it is critical that a suitable trust structure is put in place. This will ensure that care packages and benefits remain unaffected by the parent’s death. Moreover the trust needs to be managed correctly throughout the child’s lifetime so the choice of the right trustees is critical.
Once again the answer lies either in a correctly structured Will or setting up a lifetime trust. Often it is a combination of both. Having professional advice that gives the right solution is especially important when the interests of a disabled child are concerned. Our advice process will take into account the likely ongoing needs of the disabled child and balance them with the needs of any other children to arrive at the right solution for the whole family.
When your child turns 18 there is a new set of issues that the parents of a disabled or special needs child have to address. Parental responsibility ends on a child’s 18th birthday. But If you have a child with a disability or special needs, the need to care for them and make decisions on their behalf will be a lifelong responsibility.
Lasting Powers of Attorney and Deputyship:
On occasion appointment as a nominee to deal with benefits will suffice. In certain cases your newly adult child will be able to grant Lasting Powers of Attorney to you so that you can make ongoing decisions for them. We are happy to advise on these issues and arrange for LPAs to be put in place. We urge you to make an appointment in good time.
However there are many cases where a formal application for deputyship is required. Due to the complexity of these applications it is likely that a parent will need professional advice and help with the application process. These applications can be protracted so we recommend starting proceedings 6 – 7 months before a child turns 18.
Everyone with a disabled or special needs child will have to face these issues at some time. Will and Probate Services offers a comprehensive service at a fair price to guide you through these issues and put a solution in place that will suit your family and its circumstances.
If you need help putting together a plan for your family call us on 01604 659 771 we can help.