recently published a disturbing article about the worries and concerns of Carers. It focussed on the very real issues of what happens to their cared for persons after they have gone. Some even suggesting that they secretly hoped that their cared for person died before they did.

Although much of the article is outside of my skills as a Will Writer there is one aspect that we can help with. Page 5 refers to “discretionary trusts”. Accepting that everyone’s circumstances are unique so that advice can only be general, these “discretionary trusts” can be used to provide some reassurance about where your cared for person lives, that any money you leave will be used for the benefit of your cared for person AND all without affecting any means tested benefits that your cared for person may be receiving.

There are many types of discretionary trust but the one probably most relevant here is the Disabled Trust.

The “Disabled Trust” was created in law in 2013 and is specifically  written for people with a disability. It ensures that NO MORE THAN £3000 or 3% of the trust value which ever is the lower can be spent on the cared for person. It is also very tax efficient aswell.

You can put your property into the trust and allow the cared for person to live in that residence for life. Clearly there is a need to ensure that there is sufficient finance to maintain the property etc but there are also possible ways of creating an income to help this maintenance.

On the death of the cared for person, the trust assets can be disposed of as you wish eg siblings.

If other relatives such as grandparents wish to leave the cared for person money then this should really be in the form of a disabled trust as well. If they leave the money directly then the cared for person may lose their means tested benefits causing all sorts of problems.

It’s a complex area and I have seen mistakes made both by solicitors and other Will Writers. Being a carer of a cared for person and a Will writer gives me a unique insight into the mindset and problems carers face. The initial consultation is free and I work within the Midlands and South Yorkshire areas.

Please feel free to contact me should you need advice or guidance

The full article can be read here