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Important financial things to know

Appointeeship, Power of Attorney and Deputyship

You can apply for the right to deal with the benefits of someone who cannot manage their own affairs because they’re mentally incapable or severely disabled.

Find out how to become an appointee for someone claiming benefits - GOV.UK

The right to make decisions for someone else

How you can make decisions for someone else will depend on if the disabled person can make decisions for themselves. The law calls this 'mental capacity'.

Power of attorney (POA)

A power of attorney is only useful if someone is over 18 and has mental capacity. POA cannot give you the right to make decisions for a disabled person if they lack mental capacity now. The person must agree and sign the POA form. This could give you the right to make decisions in future if their condition changes and they lose mental capacity.

Make, register or end a lasting power of attorney - GOV.UK

Deputyship

If someone does not have mental capacity, the Court of Protection could give you this right by making you a Deputy.

Deputies: make decisions for someone who lacks capacity - GOV.UK

Wills and trusts

It can be worrying to think about how your loved one will cope when you're no longer around. It's important to make the right plans now

Leaving money to a disabled person in a will trust

Using a will trust can help you to look after a disabled relative in the future so that it does not affect their benefits.

If your loved one is vulnerable or lacks capacity, a will trust can also help:

  • protect them from the risk of financial abuse.
  • support them if they need someone to manage their money.

Read more about Trusts for vulnerable people - GOV.UK

Why trusts for disabled people are important:

A trust is a formal legal arrangement. You can choose between two and four people as trustees to manage the money you've left your child according to your wishes.

Some families leave money to a relative on the understanding that they will look after the disabled person. But if the relative dies, gets divorced or has large debts, they may lose control of the money.

You can avoid this by including a trust in your will. Depending on the size of your estate (your money, land, or property), there may also be tax implications. 

Which type of trust?

This depends on your circumstances and those of your child or loved one. Your solicitor will explain the types of trust in more detail and advise which is best for you.

Disabled person’s trust

If your child qualifies for a disabled person’s trust, they can be the principal beneficiary.

Discretionary trust

For a discretionary trust, you need to have a group of beneficiaries. You could include other family members, such as nieces or nephews, or charities.

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