What is a personal injury (PI) trust?
A PI trust enables a person who has received payment because of a personal injury to manage their funds to ensure it is not taken into account for any means tested benefits. A PI trust also ensures that any of your current/future care home fees will not be paid out of your compensation.
Who can set up a PI trust?
Anyone who has capacity and has received a payment for a personal injury can set up a PI trust. If the person who received a payment does not have a capacity then their attorney(s) (appointed by an LPA) or deputy(s) (appointed by a deputyship order) can set one up on their behalf.
Do I need a PI trust if I am not currently on benefits?
We recommend that you consider setting up a PI trust regardless of your current position, as there is always a possibility that this may change in the future.
Can I put other money into my PI trust?
No, the trust is not the same as a bank account and can only hold money received because of an injury.
When can I take money out of my PI trust?
You will have access to your compensation money as soon as it is available in the trust fund. In order to withdraw any money from the fund your trustees must sign the withdrawal documentation.
Who should I choose as my trustee(s)?
Simply, you should choose someone that you trust who is over the age of 18. A trustee is required to sign the withdrawal documentation and so will have an input on how the money is spent.
How many trustees do I need?
You must appoint at least one person (other than yourself) as a trustee.
When should a PI trust be set up?
There is a 52 week grace period from when the initial payment is receives which cannot be included in means tested benefits or contributions to care home fees. By putting your compensation into a PI trust during this time you can ensure that any compensation you receive will not affect your ability to receive benefits. If you decide not to set up a PI trust and instead spend the money/give it away during this period then it could result in your benefits being stopped or reduced.
How large should an award for compensation be before I consider setting up a PI trust?
If you receive an award of more than £6,000, or if you receive a smaller award but you already have savings, then it can affect your benefit entitlement.
How do I set up a trust?
If you would like our assistance to set up a Personal Injury trust, please contact Howard Cohen on @email or call 0113 218 5426.