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Life and death planning for the disabled

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5/08/2009

Summary

Parents of disabled children worry themselves needlessly about what will happen to their child when they die. There are legal strategies that can protect a disabled person, and ensure their financial future and other needs.
 

What are the problems?

Many parents, already under pressure in caring for a disabled child, often simply ‘give up’ when it comes to trying to plan for the child’s welfare after the parents die. Quite wrongly, they believe that ‘there is no solution’ or (more seriously) they take refuge in arrangements that will almost certainly ‘unravel’ with the passage of time.
 

What are the facts?

It is true to say that planning for the disabled presents challenges, not the least of which is the capacity of the individual to plan their own affairs, or a recognition that if that is not possible, what can be done to protect the disabled person. The facts are that many parents of disabled children have ‘despaired of’ finding a solution, and simply become preoccupied with worry about what ‘might happen’.
 

What can be done?

There are solutions:- 
  • If the disability is physical, planning can be simpler (in appropriate cases, the disabled child can participate in the proposals);
  • Where there is a lack of (mental) capacity, appropriate protective strategies can protect an inheritance, ensuring the care and financial well-being of the disabled child, and most importantly avoiding loss of an inheritance through the actions of the child or a predator. Careful planning can ensure that the reduction in disability pension is minimal, health benefits are preserved, and that after the death of a parent, an organisation experienced in the disability can be relied upon to give ongoing support to the child.
 

How can Fleming Muntz help?

Fleming Muntz have experienced estate planning lawyers who are skilled in the provision of advice on life and death planning for the disabled and their families. Our lawyers can on request conduct workshops and information sessions for carers and other members of the disability support service sector.
Important fine print

This update is for general information only. It is not a complete guide to the area of law. Competent advice should be obtained before taking any action.

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