In most cases, there are ways to prevent your settlement from being taken into account when calculating your entitlement to benefits, by establishing a Personal Injury Special Needs Trust.
If your personal injury compensation award is held in a Personal Injury Special Needs Trust, then the value of the award is disregarded in relation to most types of Means Tested benefits/support.
The objective of the Trust in your case is to protect any current or future entitlement to any Means Tested benefits that you receive.
Instead of the award being paid into your own back account, a Trust is set up and your money will be held by your chosen Trustees on your behalf.
Once the Trust is set up a Trustee bank account is opened by your Trustees. This is run on your behalf by your Trustees.
No. Only money received as a result of a personal injury claim can be paid into the Trust.
If at any time you decide that you no longer need the Trust you can write to the Trustees to instruct them to close the trust and transfer the money to you. However, if the Trust is closed then you may lose your entitlement to any Means Tested benefits/support.
In the event of your death, the Trust will end and any money still held within the Trust will form part of your estate, which will be distributed in accordance with your Will. However, if you die without making a Will your estate will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy.
The money held in the Trust is usually taxed in the same was as if you held the money yourself.
A trustee is a person chosen by the Claimant to look after their money and act in their best interests within the rules of the Trust.
A Trustee must be someone the Claimant trusts such as a partner/spouse, close family or friends. A solicitor or trust company can also be nominated as a Trustee although they are likely to charge for their services. A Trustee should be at least 18 years old.
*We recommend that professional advisers are appointed to carry out some if not all of these tasks.
If for whatever reason, the Trustees are unable or unwilling to continue to act as Trustees, the Claimant has the power to replace them.
No. They hold your compensation award as a Trustee and it can therefore not be counted as part of their capital.
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