Providing for the future of your child is one of the most important considerations for a parent, it starts before your child is born and you will need to think about their future, especially when you are no longer there to support them. Writing a Will gives some control over how they will get the financial support they need, through any money or assets left as an inheritance.
This information is intended as an outline of the different schemes that can be implemented in your Will. It is not intended to be exhaustive and is not a substitute for you seeking more detailed professional advice in light of your own personal circumstance.
Schemes that could be included in your Will:
Provision for your child is made without any further directions or restrictions in the will. Things to consider:
This is the same as the absolute gift scheme except that day to day use of the inheritance would be in the hands of trustees whom you have appointed. This scheme may be appropriate in the situation where the value of the inheritance is relatively small. Things to consider:
The share of the inheritance (capital) allocated to your child with disabilities is invested by the trustees so that the income from the investment belongs to your child. The capital is ultimately ear marked in your will for other individuals e.g. your other children or grandchildren. This scheme runs for the lifetime of your child and on their death the capital is allocated in accordance with the terms of your will. Things to consider:
This is the same as the Life Interest Trust scheme but some of the investment capital, ear-marked for other beneficiaries, may be used for a one-off payment if your child with disabilities has a particular need. The terms in your will can place restrictions on how much capital can be used in this way and for what purposes.
The share of the inheritance (capital) allocated to your child with disabilities is placed into the hands of the trustees who then have total discretion on how to allocate the income and capital for the benefit of your child. There will be more than one beneficiary who would be able to benefit from any of the income and capital and you would name them in your will, these other beneficiaries could be your other children, grandchildren or organisations such as charities. During the lifetime of your child with disabilities the trustees decide how the income and capital is spent, so none of this may be allocated to your child, or all of it may ultimately be spent on them. On the death of the child any remaining capital and unused income is distributed in accordance with the terms of your will or left to the discretion of the trustees. Things to consider:
You could leave all of your inheritance to other family members on the basis that they will give money or provide a gift to your child with disabilities from time to time, as they feel it is appropriate. Things to consider: