Trusts can provide significant benefits for individuals with Additional Support Needs (ASNs). Here are some advantages:
- Preservation of means-tested benefits: Individuals with ASNs often rely on means-tested benefits, such as Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP), or means-tested local authority support. Placing assets in a Trust can help protect these benefits, as the Trust assets are not considered the personal assets of the beneficiary. By preventing the beneficiary from exceeding the asset or income thresholds, Trusts can help ensure continued eligibility for vital means-tested support.
- Supplementing government support: Trusts can be used to supplement the support provided by the government. While means-tested benefits cover essential needs, a Trust can provide additional funds to enhance the beneficiary's quality of life. This can include financing specialised therapies, equipment, recreational activities, educational opportunities, or any other specific requirements that are not fully covered by government assistance.
- Financial management and oversight: Trusts allow for professional management and oversight of assets on behalf of the beneficiary. Trustees, who have a legal duty to act in the best interests of the beneficiary, can handle investment decisions, disbursements, and ongoing administration. This ensures that the funds are properly managed, protected, and utilised to meet the beneficiary's current and future needs.
- Protection from exploitation and mismanagement: By placing assets in a Trust, the beneficiary is shielded from potential financial exploitation or mismanagement. The Trustee acts as a safeguard, overseeing the management and distribution of the Trust Fund to protect the beneficiary's best interests. This can provide peace of mind for the parents, knowing that their loved one’s financial well-being is in capable hands.
- Flexibility and customisation: Trusts offer flexibility in tailoring support for beneficiaries with ASNs and determining what should happen to the Trust Fund on the death of the individual with ASNs. The Trust document can specify how funds should be used to meet the beneficiary's unique requirements and what is to happen on the death of the primary beneficiary.
It's important to consult with a knowledgeable Solicitor with expertise in Trusts. This is to ensure that the Trust is properly established and meets all legal requirements. We can guide you through the process, address your specific concerns, and help design a Trust that best supports the well-being of the beneficiary with ASNs.
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