Make the Right Decisions Now For Your Autistic Child’s Future
Having children is a challenge. There is no manual and, even if there was, it would be unlikely to be effective as each child has its own characteristics and foibles, rendering any kind of rule book worthless.
Having a child who is neurodiverse brings a completely new set of challenges, from how to handle obsessive and repetitive behaviour to how to cope with public meltdowns.
Charles Fraser, Longmores’ Senior Solicitor and Head of the Older and Vulnerable Client team, has first-hand knowledge of raising a child on the autism spectrum and it has provided him with a depth of awareness that can only be gained from experience.
From battles with authorities to learning how to live with a child who sees the world differently, Charles now uses that understanding to support families in a similar position to help them prepare for the future.
He said: “My child was nine when we first received a formal diagnosis and we worked really hard to get the right provision for them.
“But then you start to think, what if something happens to me and everything we have put in place is taken away?”
No parent wants to consider the possibility of dying and leaving behind young children, but for those who may need ongoing support from a local authority through their adulthood, thinking ahead is vital to ensure they will be fully taken care of.
Charles will be making a presentation to attendees at The Autism Show in London next week when Longmores will also be exhibiting. He wants to share advice on how families can put provisions in place through trusts and wills to create security for their future.
Plans put in place now can reduce the risk that the person they want to inherit will lose their benefits and the support that comes with them.
“As a parent, you don’t know whether your child is going to grow up and be independent with their own job or if they will need ongoing support throughout their lives, as a result of being autistic.
“For those dependent on mean-tested benefits, their life can be turned upside down if they inherit a large sum of money from parents or grandparents, especially if they are not equipped to manage their own finances.
“Legal advice can help those families take steps to protect their children when they are no longer around to fight for their rights.
“Talking about death is never a comfortable topic, but it does need to be thought about and those conversations do need to happen.
“I appreciate through my own experience how difficult it is to get the right help and support. And no parent wants all that effort to go to waste.”
The award-winning Hertfordshire-based charity, SPACE, supports families of children and young people who are neurodivergent and has recently invited Charles to speak at an event.
Chris Russell, Training lead and Family Support Manager at SPACE, said: “It is clear that Charles had a great understanding of the different approach to financial planning that parents and carers of neurodiverse children need to consider.”
Here to Help
If you want to discuss future provision for your child or a family member with autism, contact Charles Fraser on 01992 305222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Autism Show
The Autism Show will be at ExCel on June 9 and 10. Find Longmores on stand A25
Find out more about visiting the show and how to book tickets on our event page.
Download our show leaflet: Protecting their Future Inheritance