A child with special needs may require special long-term planning.


If you have a child with special needs, there’s always things to think about. Worrying about future finances and how your child will be looked after, after your death can add to that load. But with careful planning, many of those concerns can be alleviated.

Here’s our helpful checklist to guide you through these issues. We’ve divided these into two groups:

  • Tasks you can do yourself, you may have even done them already
  • Tasks that you might want some help with.

Tasks you can do yourself

1. Government benefits

Children and their families may be eligible for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) until the age of 16, Personal Independence Payment (PIP), and Carer’s Allowance. Apply for the benefits your child is eligible for. A relevant charity or support group, or your hospital can sometimes help with the application.

2. Special savings accounts

Consider investing in government-sponsored savings accounts such as the Junior ISA (Individual Savings Account) and Child Trust Fund (CTF). Depending on your child’s needs, these can be used to save for your child’s future, tax-free.

3. Insurance

Life insurance, critical illness insurance, or disability insurance can provide financial protection for your family in case of unforeseen events.

4. Support groups

Support groups can be invaluable. They can provide useful advice as well as emotional support, with inside knowledge of how you can navigate through the education, medical and benefit system. From NHS Prescription Prepayment Certificates to Leisure Centre Cards, and one-off grants, parent knowledge can be extensive.

5. Create a budget

Write a budget that takes into account your child’s everyday needs, including healthcare, therapy, education, and any additional support. Use our helpful spreadsheet template to get started.

Tasks that you might want some help with

1. Estate planning

Create a comprehensive estate plan that includes a will and, if necessary, a trust. This ensures that people you trust can ensure your child’s financial needs will be met even if you’re no longer there to provide for them.

2. Set up a Special Needs Trust

If your child has significant disabilities, consider setting up a Special Needs Trust (SNT). This trust can hold assets for your child’s benefit without affecting their eligibility for government benefits.

3. Work with a financial advisor to set up savings and investments

Speak to a financial advisor, who has experience of planning for beneficiaries with special needs. They can tailor a financial plan for your family based on your requirements based on your risk tolerance and goals.

25 September 2023

Further reading:

To Trust or Not to Trust?


Government guidance:

Making a will: Overview – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

For more information about Wills, Trusts and Probate, please contact Lois Di Vito on 01756 692869 or email lois.divito@awbclaw.co.uk