How trusts help vulnerable individuals
A trust can be an effective way to assist a vulnerable individual without losing control of assets. It can ensure the long-term protection of assets for the benefit of a vulnerable beneficiary, as the beneficiary has no right to the assets and therefore cannot run the risk of mismanaging or be taken advantage of.
Why use a trust for the vulnerable?
Thinking about how to look after loved ones either in life or how your estate will be distributed on your death can sometimes be hard. This is particularly true if you have disabled or vulnerable family members you wish to protect. Using a trust can protect the assets and potentially give you time to make decisions.
Vulnerabilities can take many forms and you may feel, for whatever reason, that your loved ones could be lacking the financial skills needed to manage their financial affairs. Other potential worries might be that they could be influenced by individuals with ulterior motives and it is also possible that the receipt of a large gift or inheritance could mean that the individual’s entitlement to means-tested benefits could be reduced.
It can be quite common for people to pass on the responsibility for the care of vulnerable individuals to other family members. However, this can lead to family disputes and possibly even a breakdown in care for the individual concerned, while the disputes are not resolved. Also, if there is no provision for the vulnerable person in your will, then this could potentially lead to a claim against the estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.