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Can My Will Leaving Everything To My Children Be Overturned?

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Arnold23 | 15:49 Sun 16th Jul 2017 | Law
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My children are 18 and over. My son is fully statemented and autistic and his mother is his carer. She has always tried to stop me seeing my children just to get more CSA. If she gets control of my estate / cash on my death I know she will squander it. Is there any way I can ensure she has no access to the estate but my children benefit?

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You need a solicitor to do your Will who is experienced in Trust law (preferably a member of STEP). Your Will needs to state the amount (or % of the residue) you are leaving to the son & it needs to go into a trust which can continue as long as he lives. These are often called a Disabled Person’s Trust or a Family Fund. The Trust is normally discretionary, & there can...
20:24 Mon 17th Jul 2017
You may or may not be in a position to set up a trust for the children. If so, you can nominate the trustees and there is no reason for their mother to be ( or to claim to be) a trustee. The terms of the trust can state that the money is to be used solely for the children, e.g. for their education, etc. If you survive seven years after setting up such a trust, the money in it will not be liable for inheritance tax. You Must consult a financial adviser in order to set up a trust.
The only people who will have control over your estate when you die are the executors of your will. As long as you haven't named her as an executor (which, from what you've written, seems to be extremely unlikely) she can't have any say in what happens to your money and other assets.

If your son is unable to look after his own finances though, your executors will need to set up a trust for him and, as his carer, it's inevitable that his mother will need access to those funds to look after his needs. The terms of the trust will state that she can only use the funds for the benefit of your son but it's important that there are trustees who can check that what she actually does with the money.

So, as Atalanta states, it might be best to get the wording of the trust sorted out before you die (rather than leaving the task to the executors of your estate).
Question Author
Thanks atalanta and Buenchico :-)
He can't make his own decisions about money. So set up a clear robust trust (discretionary?) and have trustees who can look after my children's interests. I would like it was used by him to improve his quality of life, holidays with is college (supported learning) and say for a driver-less car in the future, and his spending money etc.
You need a solicitor to do your Will who is experienced in Trust law (preferably a member of STEP). Your Will needs to state the amount (or % of the residue) you are leaving to the son & it needs to go into a trust which can continue as long as he lives. These are often called a Disabled Person’s Trust or a Family Fund. The Trust is normally discretionary, & there can be some tax advantages in such a Trust. You appoint the Trustees in your Will. You can, if you want, prepare a Letter of Wishes to be kept with your Will setting out detail of how you would like the money to be used. The Trustees have discretion on whether to always follow your wishes (after all, the circumstances may change after your death) but you can make it clear whether or not you want any of the inheritance to be passed to the mother & if so what for. It is then up to the Trustees to take whatever action they can to satisfy themselves that anything she does get from them is used as they direct.
Question Author
Great answer themas, my work for this week!
Let's try to make that work a little easier ;-)

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