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My child is autistic, what should I do in my Will to protect them?

It's crucial to make sure your child is provided for and their needs are met after your death.

calendar_month 16 May 23

schedule 2 min read

Planning for the future can feel daunting, especially if you have an autistic child, and you want to make sure they’re protected when you’re no longer around to care for them. But by planning now, you can make sure your child is provided for and their needs are met after your death.

  1. Make a Will: Your Will should outline your wishes for not just the distribution of your assets and property after your death, but also for your child’s care. If your child is under 18 years old, you may wish to name a guardian in your Will who will be responsible for their care and welfare in the event of your death. This should be someone who understands your child’s needs and can provide the necessary care and support.
  2. Consider a Letter of Wishes: A Letter of Wishes goes with your Will and provides guidance to the guardian and trustee about your wishes for your child’s care and support. The letter is not legally binding, but it can be very helpful in providing additional guidance to those responsible for your child’s welfare. Include in the Letter of Wishes as much detail as you consider relevant about your wishes for your child’s care and support including details about their living arrangements, education and medical care as well as any other general information that you believe would be helpful of the trustees to know.
  3. Set up a Trust: Establish a Trust in your Will to receive your child’s inheritance so they can be provided for without potentially losing eligibility to state benefits, avoid the need for a Court of Protection deputy appointment (and associated costs) and have the funds properly managed for them without the exposure to negative third party interests.
  4. Appointing Trustees: Trustees will be responsible for managing the Trust and making decisions about how the funds are used for the benefit of your child. When choosing a trustee, think about someone who has financial expertise and who understands your child’s specific needs. It is important they appreciate the benefit of good professional advice, as during the trust period they will likely need to navigate legal, financial and accountancy issues.  

We can help advise you when you are creating your Will or Trust to ensure that your wishes are properly documented and that your child’s needs are fully considered. Please get in touch with our highly experienced team. 

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