JE Bennett Law are experienced Personal Injury Trust Solicitors. From our offices in Sevenoaks, Kent we are well positioned for London and the south east, but do business throughout the UK. Jane Bennett frequently acts as a professional trustee as well as advising lay trustees where compensation is received following personal injuries, either due to personal injury or clinical negligence litigation; Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority claims or vaccine damage payments. Our experienced team of lawyers works with the lay trustee to ensure all trustee duties are adhered to and the various trustee obligations are met, including advice as to the various legal ramifications of managing a personal injury trust.
This often involves analysis of mental capacity to found a trust, since both the mentally incapacitated client and those having capacity, may set up trusts to protect their compensation. The main advantages of holding funds in trust are to ensure that state means tested benefits are maintained, and that eligibility to state funding for care is maximised. The team will also advise on the rules regarding capital limits and the treatment of income for benefits and tax purposes, as it arises within or as a result of the trust, or post settlement in the form of periodical payments. Advice includes help to decide what form of trust is most appropriate for clients’ needs, and careful consideration as to the benefits or burdens involved in each.
In the course of acting as a professional trustee, Jane frequently acts for children and vulnerable adults in relation to the management of funds received in damages awards. She frequently appears in the High Court and is often asked to give evidence as to the reasonableness of proposed professional costs and to the law relating to the management of trusts in cases which have not yet settled.
The team advises on tax issues arising from the setting up of the trust, and holding funds/assets in trust, and offers comprehensive administration services, so that the injured party and their family can focus on their loved one’s care and maximise their quality of life. Jane and the team are also fully conversant and trained in the changes in the law following the implementation of the Care Act 2014 in April 2015 and the impact on the injured party, including the interaction of state funding and eligibility for the provision of care, and the impact of the Care Act on carers.
Wherever possible, Jane will work with the client and their families to ensure that the firm’s services are tailored to their needs and that affordability is a key consideration in the provision of advice. Moreover, as Court of Protection specialists Jane and the team can advise clients as to the impact of the law relating to the Court of Protection on their situation, such as for example, when a trust may be appropriate as opposed to a deputyship, and the rules and case law affecting this key area, particularly in light of the Care Act 2014 coming into force.
The firm advises on and sets up disabled persons’ and bare trusts, and organises the opening and running of trust bank accounts. Annual tax returns can also be prepared at competitive rates. As part of the comprehensive advice JE Bennett Law offers, the team offers advice and assistance in claiming state benefits; will advise you as to the operation of the 52 week disregard for eligibility to state benefits, and is happy to assist in the completion of benefits forms, including corresponding with benefits offices, and arguing where necessary for backdated payments, if appropriate.