Securing the future for people with developmental disability

Phone: +61 8 9387 0575

Email: info@futureliving.org.au

Address: 327 Cambridge Street, WEMBLEY WA 6014

Your Questions Answered

 

Who will look out for my son or daughter’s interests when I am no longer able to?

Future Living Trust supports parents to make arrangements that are carried out according to their wishes. While there are organisations which will provide care for your son or daughter when you are no longer able, they cannot guarantee that his or her interests will be considered in the way your family would wish taking account of their individual needs and aspirations.

 

Does Future Living Trust provide day to day care for my son or daughter?

Day to day care is provided by other service organisations such as Activ and is very often funded by the Government through the Disability Services Commission. Future Living Trust can assist you in applying for this type of funded support and once in place you can then opt to utilise a Future Living Trust Personal Support Service to monitor the care being provided.  For more information about this, please read the Support and Advocacy fact sheet.

 

I need information that will help me to plan for my son or daughter through my Will?

The Future Living Trust provides a free information and advice service to assist you in the planning process and in having your Will prepared, but does not draft the Will. Future Living can recommend lawyers experienced in the area of disability who can prepare your Will.

 

Will Future Living Trust act as Executor to my Will?

Future Living Trust cannot act as executor or trustee under the law relating to Probate. Only Trustee companies or individuals can be nominated as Executor. Future Living Trust can help you to identify someone who can act as your Executor if needed.

 

How can I leave our family home for my son or daughter to continue to live in with an assurance for his or her continued wellbeing?

Future Living Trust has an Accommodation and Property Trust Service that can help you to make this a reality for your son or daughter. For more information about this, please read the A Safe to Place to Call Home fact sheet.

 

How can I be sure that my child has the necessary support services if they remain in the family home or in accommodation of their own

Future Living Trust can negotiate with organisations that provide relevant support services, however you will need to make sure any funding required for care is in place. The Future Living Trust Property and Accommodation Service seeks to ensure that your child can continue to live independently in your family home in the future or in a home of their own.  We can also arrange for your child to share their home with one or two other compatible people if you so wish.

 

How can I ensure that the money or assets I leave my son or daughter will be managed appropriately and that their financial and personal needs will be looked after?

Future Living Trust can establish a Managed Trust Fund that will be handled in accordance with your wishes and your son or daughter’s individual needs. Future Living Trust has the expertise to ensure the personal needs and overall welfare of your son or daughter will be maintained and the funds carefully managed for their benefit.  For more information about Managed Trust Funds, please read the Preparing for the Future fact sheet.

 

What are the Social Security implications of establishing a Managed Trust Fund for my child?

Future Living’s Managed Trust Fund service meets the necessary gifting conditions and is set up to specifically address the needs of an adult child with a developmental disability for their lifetime.

Parents and immediate family members can also establish a Special Disability Trust of up to $500,000 (indexed annually), without triggering the “gifting” provisions of the Social Security legislation.  These Trusts, however, can be quite restrictive and Future Living recommends that you seek advice before going ahead. Because everyone’s financial situation is different Future Living Trust recommends that parents contact Centrelink to assess any potential implication on their son or daughter’s disability support pension from interest earned on Managed Trust Funds.

 

Can Future Living Trust help me to make funeral arrangements for my son or daughter?

Future Living Trust can assist you with information and specific arrangements that the Trust will ensure will be carried out.

 

I worry about leaving the responsibility for my child with a friend, other family member, or a paid support worker after I have gone?

Future Living understands that family, friends, and support workers are all important and a network of people supporting your son or daughter is highly encouraged.  Things can change however and people move away or pass away so it can be very reassuring to know that someone independent will always be there overseeing your son or daughter’s welfare and advocating on their behalf for their lifetime.  All Future Living Trust services are aimed at providing parents with this additional peace of mind and the Personal Support Service (PSS) is aimed directly at this.

 

What is a Guardian or Administrator and why are they important?

Under the Guardianship and Administration Act 1990 an appointed Guardian makes lifestyle decisions and an appointed Administrator makes financial decisions on behalf of a person who lacks the capacity to make relevant decisions that are in their own best interests. The State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) will only appoint a Guardian or Administrator if there is no other less restrictive way of doing this.

 

When should I apply for formal Guardianship or Administration of my child?

Both Guardianship and Administration is dependent on need as well as an individual’s capacity to make decisions in their own best interests.  The State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) will decide regarding capacity and whether there is a need for an alternative decision maker to be appointed.  It may be necessary to apply for Guardianship when a significant lifestyle decision needs to be made.  An Administrator may need to be appointed if a person is not able to manage their own financial affairs.

 

Can I nominate a Guardian for my son or daughter?

It is not possible to ‘will’ guardianship of an adult, even one with a severe disability. As a parent you can nominate someone who has agreed to take on the role in the future in your personal papers.  This will enable your wishes to be considered if an application for Guardianship or Administration needs to be made at some point in time.  The State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) will only make an appointment if it is assured that guardianship or administration is necessary and that the nominated person will act in the best interests of your son or daughter.

 

Do I have authority as a parent to make decisions on behalf of my son or daughter who is over 18?

Legally parents do not have any rights to make decisions on behalf of their child with a developmental or intellectual disability who is over 18 as they are considered independent adults. Parents however usually provide consent to medical treatment if their child is not married.

With regard to banks and other financial institutions the Trust recommends that parents find out if they are required to be appointed Administrator to manage their adult child’s financial affairs.  Some banks are more flexible than others.

 

Can my adult son or daughter make a Will?

Your son or daughter can make a Will if he or she has Testamentary Capacity, that is, if he or she is able to give instructions to a Will maker and understand the implications of those instructions. Testamentary Capacity can usually be determined by the lawyer or by your son or daughter’s doctor or both.

More recent changes to the Wills Act in WA now also allow for a plenary guardian or administrator to make an application to the Supreme Court for an order that will allow them to make, amend or revoke a Will on behalf of a person who lacks testamentary capacity.

 

Can my son or daughter make an Enduring Power of Attorney so that someone can manage their financial affairs?

If your adult child has the capacity to understand the meaning of an Enduring Power of Attorney and the implications of that in relation to someone making decisions about their financial affairs then yes, they may be able make an EPA.  A capacity assessment by a medical practitioner, lawyer or both is recommended.

 

Future Living Trust has a number of fact sheets that explain its services in more detail:

  • A Safe Place to Call Home;
  • Preparing for the Future
  • Support and Advocacy; and
  • Support to Plan for the Future.

 

If you have more questions or would like to speak to someone about any of the Future Living Trust services, please contact the Trust directly.