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I sat down with a married couple who have two boys with a rare genetic disorder that has turned their world upside down. Being loving parents and worried about the future, this couple started a savings plan in 1998 and a second plan in 2000.

To give credit where credit is due, they lived within their means and were able to save all their Domiciliary Care Allowance and part of their Carer Allowance. They were a lovely couple to deal with and I could see that they had good hearts and were sacrificing a lot to ensure the boys had a better financial future.

The savings plans were going to be for the boy’s future needs, but what I noticed was that their boys were named on the account, not the parents.

The oldest boy turns 16 in less than two years and I explained to them that he was going to be means-tested as an individual. This meant that the saving account which had his name on it was going to be taken in to consideration as part of his means. My recommendation was to ensure that the boys had no substantial assets in their names and to place all assets in to a Trust.

Like everything in life, it is always hard to see the woods from the trees and a second opinion can be hugely beneficial. Make sure you are not making an innocent mistake that may affect your child’s future entitlements.

This article was prepared by Allan Cuthbert, a Special Needs Financial & Trust Planner. If you have a financial question, feel free to email allan@financialwellbeing.ie or call 021 482 3635.