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Personal Injury Trusts

Have you or your child have been awarded compensation for personal injury or medical negligence? If so, you might find that you’re no longer eligible to receive certain means-tested benefits.

This is where  our Personal Injury Trusts team have an important role to play.

How Personal Injury Trusts work

Are you (or someone close to you) in the process of receiving an interim payment? Perhaps you have received  final compensation in a medical negligence or personal injury claim? If so, it’s important that you are advised as to how best to protect and manage you or your loved ones monies. That is why the team at Attwaters Accidents are here to help you.

Failure to place a settlement into an appropriate trust, or with the Court, can have serious repercussions.

You may find it adversely impacts on your entitlement to means-tested state benefits and/or local authority funded care. As a result your settlement monies could quickly deplete, without being used for the intended purpose, to compensate you for injuries sustained. Fortunately our friendly team are perfectly placed to help you navigate the process smoothly.

Managing the award

Setting up a trust can be particularly important when dealing with claims on behalf of minors. Where your child has capacity on reaching 18, a Personal Injury Trust can be set up for their benefit. The Trustees of the Trust, usually including a Professional Trustee, can manage the damages award to maximise it for your child’s benefit later on in life. This is all achieved whilst removing the damages award from the local authority’s consideration in assessing your eligibility to means-tested state benefits, or state funded care.

The Court of Protection

If your child is unlikely to, or will not have capacity to, manage their own affairs on reaching 18, monies can be paid into the Court of Protection, with a Deputy acting on their behalf. There are limited circumstances where Personal Injury Trusts may be set up for claimants who lack capacity, but they require further Court approval and it needs to be proven that a Trust is in the claimant’s best interests.

Why Personal Injury Trusts are increasingly used

Without a Personal Injury Trust or involvement with the Court of Protection, claimants may have their benefits reduced or stopped on receipt of a damages award.

Both options offer protection and flexibility for the monies awarded, however the Court of Protection will only become involved in limited circumstances. When the threshold for Court of Protection involvement is not met, a Personal Injury Trust offers much greater flexibility to you or your loved one and the Trustees. Personal Injury Trusts allow for the money, with appropriate advice from independent financial advisors, to be invested.

As with all litigation involving a minor, the settlement of your claim along with any Personal Injury Trust needs to be approved by the Court. Judges are increasingly willing to approve Personal Injury Trusts for a child when it can be shown that the proposed investments benefit them by attracting an advantageous rate of return on the damages award, and where a Professional Trustee will be appointed.

Attwaters Accidents is the Personal Injury and medical negligence department of the trusted, long-established firm Attwaters Jameson Hill.

If you would like to find out more about our specialist lawyers and solicitors please take a look at our team pages. You can find our Medical Negligence Team here> and our Personal Injury Team here>.


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