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Financial Planning for Families with Autism

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I am an independent financial adviser and my son has autism, I was discussing with a colleague how many financial advisers do not know how to give proper financial advice to families who have children with a disability like Autism.

  • Some families may appreciate ways they can plan for their children’s future/independence by investing their PIP payments.
  • Often advisers will set up protection policies until children are 18 or 21 but it may well be that a whole of life policy would be more suitable. There may be additional medical costs to consider
  • Setting up of a will, many people don’t realise that a will can set out who should care for your children were you to pass away rather than being left to the local authority.
  • Setting up a suitable trust. Making sure there’s Someone who will act in the best interests of your child. It can help pay for the care of your child once you pass away. It will allow them to stay in a good group home or care centre. You can make decisions about where your child lives once he reaches the point where he is ready to move out or if you can no longer care for him at home.

I was wondering if there were any other examples or financial needs which arent being addressed

Edited on March 16, 2017 - 11:03am

March 22, 2017 - 10:09am

Hi Peter, thanks for your post and for raising the issue.

I spoke with some colleagues about financial advice for families and got some useful information that I wanted to pass on to you and others.

  • The NAS provides a Welfare Rights Service which offers advice and information on all aspects of social security benefit entitlement. This includes advice on which benefits you may be entitled to, general advice on completing claim forms, what to do if you think a decision is wrong and how to appeal to a tribunal.  http://www.autism.org.uk/services/helplines/welfare-rights.aspx

Please note that the information on page 15 of the guide to wills and trusts about discretionary trusts is out of date now, with the introduction of Universal Credit. Previously income from a discretionary trust was generally ignored for means tested benefits, however now for Universal Credit income from a discretionary trust is taken into account in full, and does affect the amount of benefit a person would get. Once we have used up our current stock of wills and trusts guides we will be updating and reprinting them.

I hope you and others find this useful.

Many thanks,

Chris