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Wills and Funeral Plans for People With Learning Difficulty? - Carers UK Forum

Wills and Funeral Plans for People With Learning Difficulty?

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
Just sorting out my own will at the moment and got me thinking about my boy. He's only 12, but I'm wondering what happens if I die before he's 18 and then he dies as well? There would be the money I leave him, plus someone would need to arrange his funeral and I won't be around? Can you put those sorts of plans in place or do you have to leave it to the guardian to sort out if/when the situation arises?

Will check with Mencap as they are sorting out the trust fund for me but wondered if anyone has any practical experience of this sort of thing. Sorry it's a bit gloomy!
I think it's a very sensible question. In my own situation, I'm relying on the fact that my eldest son would hopefully be around to sort things out for me. However I'd never really thought about who would arrange things for M if neither I nor his older brother was around. So I'd be interested to know more.
You can't plan for everything. "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans." - John Lennon
I have been left to sort out the affairs and houses of four people who buried their heads in the sand and pretended they would live forever. Taking this attitude left me mountains of work which could, and should, have been avoided. I want to ensure that I leave no unexpected problems when I die. I do worry about how M will manage when I'm not here, supported living is fine with me around to continually sort things out in the background, but I'd never considered arrangements for his funeral if I wasn't around.
Scally wrote:You can't plan for everything. "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans." - John Lennon
John Lennon wasn't disabled, Scally, which changes the situation somewhat. I'm not trying to plan for everything, but my son might have some money left when the time comes and it would be nice to think that benefited someone else in need rather than going into the government coffers. As there's no other family I'd like to think that he gets a nice funeral and has his ashes scattered with my dad instead of being buried by the council in an unmarked plot. As BB points out, someone has to deal with it.

BB, I'll let you know if I find out anything useful.
Well, as I understand it, people who die before they reach the age of majority, or without the capacity to make a will due to a learning disability, cannot legally make a will anyway. They need to be, as the phrase puts it, "of sound mind" and able to sign a contract. However, the law makes provision for this and there is an automatic default: childrens money goes to their surviving parent first, then their siblings, then other surviving relatives in their due pecking order.
Scally, I didn't know that. Presumably if a parent wants money to go to a specific relative, they could do that via a trust?
Well, if you inherit money then you have the right to re-assign it of course. But my understanding is that the law decides who gets the child's money in the first place, and that cannot be altered by anyone. I don't know how the law deals with cases where the parents have become estranged etc.
My guess is that some adults with learning disabilities may be able to make a valid will or sign a power of attorney, but they would need to demonstrate capacity to the witnesses, and involving a solicitor would be advisable in case there was a subsequent challenge. The rules of intestacy (dying without a will) are here on this online calculator. http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov. ... ge14-1.htm
I'm afraid I am guilty of burying my head. Hubby and I keep off even making a will. I know it's wrong and irresponsible but there is so much to think about. We have an older son who is single with no children and he doesn't live at home and a daughter with learning difficulties who does.
It scares me stiff even thinking about what will happen to her when we are gone so I just bury my head. I am well aware that some day soon we are going to have to sort this out. We just keep putting it off.
I know that a while ago, Mencap did a pack of information on the subject. Why not start by seeing if these are still available? If you don't do anything, then, as I understand it, your money will be split equally between your two children. Then your money will go on your daughter's care until it's all gone.