Planning for disabled son

I hope this is the right forum category - please advise if not.

My husband and I are in our early 60s, healthy, and reasonably affluent. We have two children in their early 30s, one of whom still lives at home as he has ME/CFS and (not officially diagnosed) mild autism. The plan is that when we die, we shall leave him enough money to pay rent on a small flat and manage his day-to-day expenses (our other child recognises that he might get less than 50% of our total inheritance and is fine with that).

As our son is on means-tested benefits, he can't have savings above a certain amount, and he would lose his benefits when he inherits. We are concerned that if we should have to go into a care home, all the money we have planned to pass on would be taken to pay for our care and he would be left with nothing.

As he lives with us, does this mean that we wouldn't have to sell our to pay for our care? Are there any investments we can make that would be protected so we can pass them on? Should we set up a trust fund for him now, which he can access on our deaths, and would this affect his benefits in any way?

Thanks in advance for any advice.


Comments

  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,320
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    edited 4 November 2023 at 11:59AM
    Your home is exempt from the means test while one of you remains living there or if your son qualifies as being disabled.
    https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/care/paying-for-care/paying-for-a-care-home/do-i-have-to-sell-my-home-to-pay-for-care/

    You need proper legal advice with regards to a trust fund. This may help as a starting point.
    https://www.mencaptrust.org.uk/setting-trust-frequently-asked-questions#:~:text=How%20does%20a%20discretionary%20trust,means%20tested%20benefits%20and%20entitlements.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • Marcon
    Marcon Posts: 10,037
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    JudyN said:
    I hope this is the right forum category - please advise if not.

    My husband and I are in our early 60s, healthy, and reasonably affluent. We have two children in their early 30s, one of whom still lives at home as he has ME/CFS and (not officially diagnosed) mild autism. The plan is that when we die, we shall leave him enough money to pay rent on a small flat and manage his day-to-day expenses (our other child recognises that he might get less than 50% of our total inheritance and is fine with that).

    As our son is on means-tested benefits, he can't have savings above a certain amount, and he would lose his benefits when he inherits. We are concerned that if we should have to go into a care home, all the money we have planned to pass on would be taken to pay for our care and he would be left with nothing.

    As he lives with us, does this mean that we wouldn't have to sell our to pay for our care? Are there any investments we can make that would be protected so we can pass them on? Should we set up a trust fund for him now, which he can access on our deaths, and would this affect his benefits in any way?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.


    I wonder why you intend to leave him enough money to pay rent on a small flat, when possibly putting in place a structure to buy a suitable property where he can live rent free during his life  might be a much better idea?

    This really is one where you need proper advice based on a full understanding of all the relevant factors - and it is so so sensible of you to start doing the planning now. The unexpected has an unhappy habit of happening however lousy the timing!

    You probably need input from more than one professional, so this might be a good starting point to find suitable help: https://www.step.org/
    Googling on your question might have been both quicker and easier, if you're only after simple facts rather than opinions!  
  • badmemory
    badmemory Posts: 7,527
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    Is it possible one of the charities that deal with his main problems would be able to point you in the right direction for knowledgable help, followed by a solicitor who knows what they are doing.
  • JudyN
    JudyN Posts: 7
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    Marcon said:

    I wonder why you intend to leave him enough money to pay rent on a small flat, when possibly putting in place a structure to buy a suitable property where he can live rent free during his life  might be a much better idea?


    Thank you for your reply. My original thought was that we could buy somewhere for him, but renting would mean he didn't have to worry about general maintenance, building insurance, etc. And renting might work out cheaper in the long term depending on how long we all live for. But you're right, we shouldn't rule it out as an option.

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