This includes not only their financial affairs, but their personal affairs such as care and rehabilitation as well. It also raises the question, ‘who becomes responsible for that person’?
While caring for a family member with a disability can be very rewarding, it’s also a huge responsibility and, in some cases, a full-time occupation.
Simply leaving money or the balance of your estate to a family member with an intellectual disability may not provide them with an adequate level of financial support. In fact, it could do more harm than good. It could disqualify them from access to important Government entitlements. Not only that, but if the money is accessible or they are easily influenced, it could be spent too quickly and ineffectively given their long term needs.
However, by engaging a specialist estate planner and a professional trustee company you can help prevent this from happening. A specialist estate planner can help you structure your estate appropriately and will consider the following issues:
- Control and protection of financial affairs (for example ensuring ongoing income and payment of bills)
- Healthcare (who makes the important medical decisions?)
- Housing and wellbeing decisions (who decides on day-to-day expenses?)
- Lifestyle maintenance (what are their routines, likes and dislikes, etc)
By appointing a professional trustee, they can make important financial or medical decisions on behalf of your relative with an intellectual disability, when you are no longer around.
While it’s the requirements of the intellectually disabled person that are of significant concern, it’s also important to consider the other family members’ needs, including brothers and sisters. Having a clear and effective plan means that when the inevitable does happen, you can be sure that all the important issues have been considered and subsequently addressed and that there are clear processes in place to ensure continuing care as well as financial stability.
Having a plan in place and appointing a professional trustee not only protects the vulnerable person and provides for them throughout their lifetime, but gives you and your family certainty and peace of mind.
Don’t leave it to chance, or to your family to work out, ask us today how you can plan for the future needs of your family.
Source | IOOF
1 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Disability, Ageing and Carers: Summary of Findings, 2003
This communication has been prepared on a general advice basis only. The information has not been prepared to take into account your specific objectives, needs and financial situation. The information may not be appropriate to your individual needs and you should seek advice from your financial adviser before making any investment decisions.