GUIDE TO PERSONAL INJURY TRUSTS

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1 GUIDE TO PERSONAL INJURY TRUSTS

2 Your guide to Personal Injury Trusts If you have been injured and are making a claim it could be some time before you are able to return to work or resume a normal life. If you are able to return to work, the severity of your injuries could force you to consider a different role, your earnings may be reduced or, in the longer term, you may have to think about care. If you are able to recover compensation for your injury you can use a Personal Injury Trust to protect that award and this will allow you to access your entitlement to full state support. What are the benefits of a Personal Injury Trust? Your compensation is ignored for the calculation of claiming means-tested benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Council Tax and Housing Benefit. Most local authorities will disregard compensation held in a Personal Injury Trust when it comes to calculating your contribution for care and support in your home. If non-nhs funded residential nursing care is required now or in the future the compensation monies held in a Personal Injury Trust are exempt under the Department of Health guidelines. A Personal Injury Trust allows you to pick individuals you trust to support you in managing your finances. This can help to avoid the need for an Application to the Court of Protection for assistance or the need for a Lasting Power of Attorney.

3 When should I consider setting up a Personal Injury Trust? If you are due to receive compensation related to an injury, you should consider a Personal Injury Trust as soon as possible and ideally within 12 months of the first payment as this is the automatic disregard time allowed by most government institutions. The Trust may only contain personal injury compensation and if it is created much later it can be difficult to identify which monies have come from the compensation claim after it has been mixed with ordinary funds. What is a Trust? A Trust is a legal entity; the monies are placed in a Trust and are held separately from any other entity s you own. You will need to choose Trustees to manage the Trust for you. Who should be a Trustee? You can choose anyone to be a Trustee including yourself. It is important to pick people you trust, as they will manage the assets either with you or on your behalf. It is normal to have more than one Trustee in order to protect the trust funds but not generally more than four. Can I get my compensation when I need it? Yes, depending on the terms and rules of the Trust document. This is where you need specialist advice to ensure that whilst your compensation is protected it is not locked away and out of your control. You will still need to be aware of certain financial limits in respect of any benefits you are claiming or the cost of care when drawing cash from the Trust, so it is useful to set up a Trust with the power to buy things for you. Are all Personal Injury Trusts the same? There are many different types of Trust and each one has different terms, tax treatments and rules so you will require specialist advice on this.

4 What are the charges? Simple Trusts for smaller awards are relatively easy to put in place and usually need little or no on-going advice. The cost is often less than 1,000 to set up. The cost will be higher in larger or complex cases. However, the income from the Trust is normally more than enough to cover all of the on-going costs without touching your capital. It sounds daunting It can seem complicated and this is why you need specialist legal advice. The initial investment in setting up a Trust is certainly worth considering if you have to claim means-tested benefits over a long period and it could preserve those benefits for many years and protect your assets from being eroded by the costs of care either now or in the future. We can recommend experts that can advise you. The Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme came into force in April This is a new Scheme which applies to those cases where past employers cannot be pursued, and the employers did not take out any insurance cover or the insurers cannot be traced. The Scheme only applies to mesothelioma claims. It does not apply to other asbestos conditions, such as asbestosis and pleural thickening. However, claims for an asbestos related injury other than mesothelioma can still be pursued in the civil Courts, if an employer/insurer can be found. The Scheme provides a fixed sum of compensation, depending upon the age of the sufferer at the time of diagnosis of mesothelioma. There is not an automatic entitlement to a compensation payment. It is still necessary to prove negligence on the part of the former employer. If the Defendant can be traced, or an insurance company can be located, it is still necessary to bring a civil claim instead of pursuing a claim through the Scheme. It will be necessary to prove that all efforts and correct searches have been made to find the insurers, before the claim can be submitted through the Scheme.

5 If a claim is successful through the Scheme, an award of 7,000 is made as part of the overall payment towards Solicitors costs. A Dependant of the Deceased can pursue a claim through the Scheme after the sufferer has died. A personal representative of the sufferer may also be able to pursue a claim through the Scheme, if not a dependant, if the claim was submitted prior to the death of the sufferer. A Solicitor is not necessary to pursue a claim through the Scheme, however due to the complex nature of searching for a Defendant/Insurer, establishing negligence and obtaining relevant documents, it is helpful to have legal advice. In addition, if a Defendant can be traced, then a Solicitor can run the civil claim for you, as well as assisting with applying for relevant State benefits. In its first 10 months, the Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme has paid out over 19 million pounds in compensation. Novum Law has successfully obtained compensation on behalf of numerous Claimants through the Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme, including the submission and successful conclusion of the very first online application made to the Scheme. On 10th February, it was announced that payments through the scheme would be increased to 100% of the value of the average claim, whereas it has previously been 80%. This could increase settlement values by up to 54,000. Settlement times are usually quick if the information is obtained with speed. Solicitor experts such as Novum Law are able to make the required investigations into working histories and insurance traces with speed and ensure that payments can be processed as soon as possible. Novum Law have settled many claims through the Scheme within 2 months. Examples include a retired builder who cut up asbestos sheets for an employer in the 1950s, and a man who worked for a small, uninsured family company in 1961 and was exposed to asbestos dust when he installed furnaces lined with asbestos and was able to recover a six figure sum which allowed him to provide for his wife in the future. Without the Scheme, these men would not have been able to pursue a claim. They have been supremely professional throughout, and they have excellent people skills the combination has helped us at a particularly difficult time. Client For more information visit or call us on

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