Learning disability charity Mencap is urging parents of a child with learning disabilities to start thinking about writing a will as increasing numbers of ageing parents worry about what will happen to their loved one if they die.

Mencap has reported a 26% rise in the number of parents calling their wills and trusts advice team over the past five years. Thousands of adults with a learning disability are currently cared for by a family member and have been for most of their lives. Indeed, a third of adults with a learning disability are supported by a relative over the age of 70, according to Mencap estimates. As these family members get older they are less able to offer care. With further social care cuts inevitable families are becoming increasingly worried about who will look after their loved one with a learning disability and how this will be funded.  

Mencap’s in-house wills and trusts solicitor, Aarti Gupta, said: “We have many parents who have a child with a learning disability come to us worried about who will look after their child when they are no longer around. They are often very unsure of where to even start when making plans for their child’s future. “Writing a will needn’t be daunting, the wills and trusts team at Mencap talk to between 6,000 and 7,000 parents a year through our helpline and the free seminars we put on, to provide advice on the best trusts and wills available. There are many decisions to make so we talk to families without using any legal jargon, to ensure they are clear on their options and what will best suit them and their child in the future.”