It can be a huge concern, if we are responsible for someone who is very dependent upon us, as to what will happen to that person, as far as taking care of their financial and other needs is concerned.
First and foremost, there is the whole question of who will look after them, how they will do so and where they will live, but on top of this there is the money and property issue – making sure there is a home available and money to support the dependent person, while in the process not affecting any state benefits to which they may be entitled.
In many cases, it can be sensible to put these arrangements in place in your lifetime, so that your loved one is set up in their own home securely and comfortably and the finances are in place, with any potential tax on making the arrangement having been dealt with. It is where proper professional advice comes in, since on the one hand a flexible Trust structure will be needed if welfare benefits are not to be affected and on the other hand technical knowledge will be required if the Trust is to hold a large sum of money or property value (over £325,000) and Inheritance Tax is to be avoided. It is also vital that this Trust is run properly, to avoid it being open to unnecessary attention from the tax and funding authorities.
Even if these arrangements are to be put in place after your days and therefore via a Will, it is still very important that the right level of advice is obtained so that the Will is correctly drafted, again to steer the correct course between being able to support the disadvantaged person as and when required, while at the same time not upsetting the state benefits available to them.
Here at Ungoed-Thomas & King we have significant experience not only of setting up these arrangements, both in the lifetime and via Wills, but also in running the Trusts afterwards, advising on what can or cannot be done without disrupting benefits, ensuring regular Trustee meetings and the proper recording of actions by the Trustees, while taking care of any tax requirements at the same time. At any given time, we have a number of Trusts running through the office. Two members of our Department are full members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.
Our job is to put arrangements in hand for your loved one to ensure as far as possible that you have the peace of mind that everything is in place to provide for and support them. Do please get in touch on (01267) 237441 – Option 2 – if you wish to find out more about this or if you would like a copy of our booklet on providing for vulnerable persons.