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Finance-question2015 has been another very busy year for Dolores, David & I. We have hosted our Trust Planning Workshop to over 23 different charities around Ireland in the last 12-months. We have presented our workshop to around 700 parents.

Firstly, I’d like to express, A big thank you to all the wonderful parents I meet in 2015 and I was honoured to be part of the planning process for your child. 

In our workshops many parents have been asking me some great questions, some funny and some never to be repeated questions! I thought I share the most commonly asked questions.

Should I leave more to my child with additional needs?

I am always advocate that children with additional needs should always end up with more money than their siblings. How I have come to this conclusion is siblings of a special needs brother or sister have the ability to work and determine their own quality of life. People with disabilities are highly reliant on the amount of money in a Special Need Trust for their own quality of life.

By giving your child additional financial secure you also reduce the financial pressure on their sibling later in life.

Does my child need a Special Needs Trust?

Occasionally, a parent might remark to me that their child has very little need of their Disability Allowance, often suggesting that €188 per week is more than enough for the rest of their child life.

However, what parents often miss is that they personally pay for all their child’s everyday expenses without ever thinking about it. Pay the mortgage, heating, utilities, food, restaurants, holidays, and transporting their child, just to name a few.

When parents are no longer around to pay for these items then €188 won’t go very far in providing a similar quality of life that children are already use to.

How should I finance my child’s Trust?

You child will be in receipt of €59,424 of Domiciliary Care Allowance and €391,040 in Disability Allowance until they reach retirement age. By putting away a small percentage of this each week you end up with a large funded Trust that can provide the quality of life you wish for your child. The key is for parents to commit to a regular amount of money on a weekly basis. The earlier you start the easier it is and the larger the Trust fund.

What is the best way to fund a Special Needs Trust?

There are many options to fund a Trust but few offer the enormous benefits of a Trust Life Policy. This ensures thousands of extra money for your child without impact their access to entitlements.

Can Grandparents leave money in a Trust?

Yes, any relative, friend or grandparent can leave money in a Trust for your child. Always encourage other relative to leave additional money for your child as this will only benefit them in the long run and give the Trustees additional funds. The key again here is that the money is not left directly in your child’s name but through a Trust.

What happens to the money in the Trust when my child passes away?

Hopefully there is very little left in the Trust at this point because it is meant to be used throughout your child’s life to give then a decent quality of life. However, whatever is left over just passes on to your child’s nearest blood relative (other sibling or nieces or nephews). But this is your choice.

Won’t the Government or the HSE look after my child?

Of course but what a parent might call looking after and what a state run facilities calls “looking after” might be a world apart.

Most parents assume that all these service for adults with disability are also free. When I get parent to read up about HSE charges such as The Long Stay charge, then parents get a big shock but at least they have a better understanding of what costs are coming down the road.

I am always advocating that parent utilise the full resource available to them form the state and HSE but by having a Special Needs Trust you will give your child additional options and make them less reliant on the state.