Providing for a disabled beneficiary in your Will
If you wish to make a gift to a beneficiary in your Will who isn't capable of dealing with his or her financial affairs or who is in residential care of some kind, you might wonder whether you can do this in such a way that the money does not cancel out any state benefits they receive or isn't simply taken away from them and used to pay their care fees.
The way to achieve this is to leave the sum of money in a "discretionary trust". With this type of trust the trustees of the trust (this is usually the people that you appoint as the executors of your Will) are granted the power to use the money at their discretion for the welfare and benefit of the disabled beneficiary during his or her remaining lifetime.
This allows sufficient money to be released to the disabled person or made available for their benefit to ensure that your gift is of genuine help to them; whilst also ensuring, so far as possible, that they don't have so much money that they would lose their state benefits and, also, that the money that you have left them is protected by the trust so that it cannot simply be taken away from them and used to pay their care fees.
The provisions of the discretionary trust clause in your Will will also go on to say what will happen to any money that is left over after the disabled person eventually dies.
Discretionary trusts like this can also be useful if the beneficiary that you wish to include in your Will has an addiction and might squander the money if it was left to them outright. In this situation the trustees can gradually release money to the beneficiary or they can use it to pay for things on the beneficiary's behalf rather than handing money to him or her direct.
This type of trust can therefore be very useful in both of the above situations.
We don't charge any more for including a discretionary trust of this type in a Will and our standard charge of £40 for a single Will and £60 for a pair of Wills still applies.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us by email or telephone and we will be happy to provide any advice you need.