Writing a will and setting up a trust?

To read on Mencap website:

Note: In the UK, the term of ‘Learning disability’ is used instead of ‘Intellectual disability’.

New year, new you

 Gina Collins   01/01/2016
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Lots of people use the start of a new year as a reason to make a fresh start. One of the first New Year’s resolutions I ever made was to go out and find myself a job that I enjoyed.

I went to the job centre with my mum. Even with her help, I still really struggled to find employment. I’m not the only one. Only 6% of people with a learning disability are actually in paid employment.

Making a resolution is only the start. Without the right support in place, and without help they can be quite a difficult thing to accomplish.

I was up for trying anything but not everything was suitable. That doesn’t mean I didn’t try my hardest. Eventually I was introduced to Pathway, Mencap’s employment service. They had a better understanding of the support I needed to get into paid employment. I told them about my interests, and that I wanted a job that helped others.

I have always had a passion for raising money for charity, so when I got a job in Mencap’s fundraising team I was thrilled!

It has been 20 years since I started working at Mencap and I still love working here. I’m now part of the Gifts in Wills team and I’m very proud of the work we do. Gifts in wills make up 50% of the voluntary income we receive at Mencap.

My team helps provide information and advice about writing a will and setting up a trust for loved ones with a learning disability. Without having the right plans in place, an inheritance can be disastrous for anyone who is in receipt of benefits and local authority care packages or if they are vulnerable to financial abuse.

We also organise and deliver Planning for the Future seminars all around England, Wales and Northern Ireland. These free, 2 hour seminars provide legal advice to many worried parents and carers who don’t know what they should put in place for when they are no longer here.

I would love to see more people make a New Year’s resolution to write a will if they haven’t already and look at the possible use of a trust as a way of safeguarding money being left to loved ones. If they choose to make a gift to Mencap too, then great!

Every single gift, big or small, makes such a difference to people with a learning disability and helps fund many of Mencap’s wonderful services around the country.

The subject of writing your will and setting up a trust is difficult for many people but don’t put it off! With help and support you can put the right plans in place.

I made a New Year’s resolution 20 years ago and haven’t looked back. Having a learning disability hasn’t stopped me from achieving my goal. Everybody can get where they want to be with the right support.

If you’re making New Year’s resolutions, make sure that writing your will and ensuring peace of mind for your loved ones’ future is one of them.

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