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Last updated:
16/11/2017

How can I ensure my loved ones are supported after I have gone?

What if my relative inherits a lump sum?

  1. Overview
  2. Why should I make a will?
  3. What if my relative inherits a lump sum?
  4. What are discretionary trusts?
  5. How can I find a solicitor?
  6. Next Steps

You may be worried about your relative’s ability to handle a lump sum of money, and you might wonder whether:

  • They would spend the money quickly rather than making it last,
  • They would not spend it wisely,
  • They would give the money away or be too vulnerable to look after the money properly,
  • It would affect their benefits, and
  • It would make them have to pay for social care or a care home.

Effect on benefits

Your relative might be claiming benefits because of a low income. These are called ‘means-tested benefits’ and they include:

  • Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance,
  • Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance,
  • Universal Credit,
  • Income Support,
  • Rate Relief, and
  • Housing Benefit.
Inheritance paid as a lump sum would become part of your relative’s savings, which means that a lump sum might lead their benefits to be reduced.

These benefits are affected by any income, savings or other assets that your relative gets – this means that if they have over £6,000 in savings, their benefits will be affected, and if they have £16,000 it will mean that they cannot get means-tested benefits. Inheritance paid as a lump sum would become part of your relative’s savings, which means that a lump sum might lead their benefits to be reduced. 

Effect on care homes charges

Having savings could mean that your relative would have to pay costs if they live in a care home. You can find more about this on the How do I pay for residential care? page.

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Within this subject

  1. Overview
  2. Why should I make a will?
  3. What if my relative inherits a lump sum?
  4. What are discretionary trusts?
  5. How can I find a solicitor?
  6. Next Steps
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