Disabled Trust case study: Anna's story
Anna is 19 and has autism, learning difficulties and some physical disabilities. Her parents, Joe and Tricia, are her main carers although she does spend some time at her local day centre.
Anna's parents came to Wrigleys for advice. They want to make sure that her finances are looked after when they are gone. They think she might benefit from supported living accommodation and are looking into that. They know she is likely to be dependent on means tested benefits to pay for the placement and also pay for her other spending. They want to make sure that anything they do in their Wills does not stop her getting means tested benefits or local authority care. They have a house and some investments and want that money to be used to enhance Anna's life but they know the money they are leaving can't possibly pay for a full private care regime or replace the need for benefits. They are also worried in case Anna is targeted by people trying to take money from her.
We advised that they set up a trust for their daughter. Because of her disabilities the money in the trust can have special Inheritance Tax treatment and also be treated for other taxes as if it is Anna's own money. The money in the trust will not count as Anna's for benefits or care funding but can be used to look after her, pay for extras such as holidays, furniture, a vehicle if it would be helpful for the carers to be able to drive one, etc. That will also mean the amount of money that Anna has at any one time is limited and so reduce the risk of anybody trying to take advantage of her.
Joe and Tricia think about setting up a trust in their lifetime but decide that most of the money they are going to leave to Anna is represented by their house or by investments that they need the income from. They decide to set the trust up under their Wills.
Later on, Anna's grandmother indicates that she wants to make a gift to Anna in her Will. A couple of other relatives have also said they want to do this. Wrigleys recommended that they set up a lifetime trust for Anna with a small amount of money in which the relatives can then direct their gifts to. That means the relatives do not have to put a trust in their Wills but the money is looked after in the most appropriate way.
Joe and Tricia decide to be trustees of the lifetime trust themselves but appoint Wrigleys as executors of the trust under their Wills and ask Wrigleys if they would join in as trustee of the lifetime trust after their death.