August marks National Road Victim Month – an opportunity to remember people who have been killed or injured on our roads and strive to make our roads safer. Britain's first road death occurred in August 1896, when Bridget Driscoll was killed in Crystal Palace and following the death of Diana Princess of Wales on 31 August 1997, charitable organisation RoadPeace designated August National Road Victim Month.
Whilst our Personal Injury department offer support to the victims of road accidents and their families by helping with compensation claims, our Private Client team look to how we can offer protection to those individuals once the monetary award has been received.
Will compensation affect my benefits?
It is widely recognised that road traffic victims are often faced with a short term or long term inability to work and many will rely on support from means tested benefits which could be adversely impacted by a compensation claim. Setting up a Personal Injury (PI) Trust however, can often be an effective tool if an individual has received compensation, particularly if the victim is in receipt of means-tested benefits.
If the PI Trust is set up within 52 weeks of the first interim payment then any means-tested benefits are absolutely preserved and the funds held in trust will not form part of an assessment.
Are there other benefits to Personal Injury Trusts?
People can often feel overwhelmed after receiving a large amount of money and it can be helpful to have appointed trustees helping to manage the funds in a controlled manner, offering advice and guidance when necessary or requested. This will also protect the funds and individual from any unwanted pressure or influence from family or friends.
Depending on the type of trust that is put in place, for example a bare trust or a discretionary trust, then it may be possible to protect the individual's estate from inheritance tax, care planning and ensure that the fund can be used for the next generation in a controlled way.
Get in touch
Our Personal Injury and Private Client teams are here to assist with a claim for compensation and to put the appropriate trust in place to ensure the funds and their entitlement to benefits are protected.
Elgin: 01343 542623
We have solicitors and offices across the country and are ready to help.