Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Wills need to be kept up-to-date warning

Parents of children with learning disabilities should keep their wills up-to-date to ensure their loved one is properly provided for in the event of their death, a solicitor has warned.

Aari Gupta, learning disability charity Mencap’s in-house solicitor, said that incidents where an out-of-date will no longer provides for a child with a learning disability as well as it should have been on the increase in recent years. Gupta made this warning after the publication of ‘When WILL You Change Yours?’ a report commissioned by Remember A Charity, a consortium of charities that encourage more people to consider leaving a charitable gift in their will, revealed that 29% of people with a will admitted that it is out of date and intend to change it.

The amount left in wills now averages £160,000. The fear is that up to £1.1 trillion in total – equivalent to two-thirds of the UK’s GDP in 2011 – could fail to reach the intended recipients, according to the report. “The Remember a Charity report highlights a growing problem for families with a child with a learning disability,” said Gupta. “Many people think making a will is all they need to do, but it is just as important to keep your will under review every few years or as and when family circumstances change. “Parents who have made their wills and chosen to set up a trust for a child with a learning disability should continue to review details such as who they have appointed as trustee and if this person is still the most appropriate person. “It is essential that people with a learning disability are cared for after a loved one is no longer around and this can only be done by ensuring a will is kept up-to-date.”

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