The SPP is about Planning Ahead

There are three types of SPP’s you can design for your adult child, and they all vary depending on your current and future affordability:

  • Full SPP
  • Micro SPP
  • Personal Wishes SPP

Depending on which of the above SPP’s you decide suits your family, you may also need to create a legal document called a Special Needs Trust Fund (SNTF).  This fund, basically, sets out all the rules and regulations in regards to your child’s care and support when the time comes.

It is important to note here that it is a legal entity at law, which is designed as a document, created by a lawyer in consultation with you.

The details contained within the SNTF varies depending on:

  • Your choices for your child
  • Your financial situation
  • Your child’s needs
  • How much information you want to include in your SNTF

There is no right and wrong, however, as a lawyer will explain to you, you need to put a lot of effort in the creation and design of your SNTF to ensure when it is later enacted, it is free from manipulation by:

  • Debt collectors (including banks)
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Government departments (including pension relative departments)
  • And so on.

No one wants your SPP to fail, but people may do things that are detrimental to your SNTF value, at the expense of your child’s wellbeing, if they feel justified.  So make sure you get the details of your SPP right first time around, and stay in touch with your solicitor and accountant over the years to ensure new legislation or guidelines don’t change the legal dynamics of your SNTF in it’s current form.  It can always be changed if you need to later, prior to your death.

The Special Needs Trust Fund

The SNTF is essentially a legal document which sets out to clearly define your wishes for your adult child upon your death, and:

  • How your money is to be handled on behalf of your child;
  • Who is to be involved with the care and management of your child;
  • What your legal wishes are for your child’s care and support after your death.

It can include details of holidays, new clothing purchases, sporting pursuits etc.

The SNTF also sets out the terms of the following matters clearly, and your SNTF may set out even more factors which we haven’t covered, because we didn’t feel we had to, but you know are relevant to your child’s situation:

  • Who chooses TSP and when;
  • How much money should be paid to:
  • TSP
  • The Trust Fund Manager
  • The Trust Fund Committee Members
  • The running costs of the family home (expenses and future asset purchases like furniture)
  • Your adult child pocket money (if you want that to happen)
  • Luxury expenses and costs (like holidays and new cars)
  • Unexpected expenses and costs (like the purchase and maintenance of a new pet)
  • How the Trust Fund Manager and Committee Members are to be selected (at commencement of the Fund and throughout the life of the SNTF);
  • Who is to take care of your Trust Fund set up, like an Accountant;
  • Which lawyer you would prefer to assist your Trust Fund Manager over the years;
  • Which properties are to be kept, or sold upon your death or later in life;
  • If your Trust Fund Manager & Committee Members are allowed to sell off assets to fund the Trust Fund cash flow if and when necessary (and how that is to be handled);
  • How to handle re-election of the Trust Fund Manager and Trust Fund Committee Members if and when appropriate.