What happens if I have a disabled beneficiary? I want to make sure they are taken care of in my will.

Example: Husband Jeff, wife Sally. They have three children together including Vanessa who is 25 but requires assisted living because of disabilities. They wish to split the estate evenly between the three children once both of them have died. They are worried about leaving money directly to Vanessa, as she would not be able to handle it.  In addition, they are concerned that a sum of money inherited would affect Vanessa’s state benefits.

The answer here is to draft wills so that the third of the estate left to Vanessa goes into a disabled discretionary trust, held on Vanessa’s behalf by two or more nominated trustees.

In this example, Jeff and Sally choose their brother and sister respectively to be the trustees. They could have also chosen a professional if required.

The trustees can then “release” amounts of money as and when needed for Vanessa, for day-to-day care, trips, clothes etc.

With this type of trust, it is useful to write a Letter of Wishes to the trustees. This would be guidance in how and when to release funds for Vanessa.

If this post has been informative for you, please feel free to share and like.

Liane at Western Wills

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