A lot of the suggestions on this page are very similar to information most adults in the UK should consider. The urgency for 3rd party victims of crime is two-fold. Firstly, you will want to ensure that your loved one – especially if they have a disability or you provide care – are protected. Secondly, the reality of the demands of caring and managing the huge number of admin issues associated with being a 3rd party victims of crime and the accompanying exhaustion can push these things way down the priority list.
Making a will setting out your intentions for your estate is good practice for everyone. However, there are special rules that are applied if you are making provision for someone who is vulnerable. This can be financially beneficial in terms of inheritance tax. There is more information about Trusts and Taxes on this government web page.
If your loved one has struggled with debt, substance abuse or impulsivity, a sudden inheritance could cause them further issues. Consider how to manage their provision especially if you have more than one person to leave money or property to and how this might impact relationships in the future, especially without you there to support them. Dying intestate or leaving the contents of your will private until after your death might not be a good idea if this is your situation. Letting people know what you’ve done and the reasons why mean arguments about why child A can have a lump sum and child B has their money left in a trust so they can’t spend it all at once are probably better dealt with by you, whilst you’re alive.
Don’t assume you have nothing to leave. Your pension may include both death in service or death benefits, your home may have a mortgage but most mortgages have protection that will ensure the mortgage is paid off, even some social housing rental properties have conditions associated with inheritance attached to them. And we all have ‘stuff’ that needs to be disposed of or divided up amongst relatives.
The information from Money Saving Expert explains your options.
Some unions offer employees free wills as part of their services. If you are a union member, this is definitely worth checking.
If it’s possible, create a savings account that you save a small amount into each month to cover time that you can’t work or if you suddenly need to travel or stay away from home.
From the date that your car insurance is due to the passwords for your bank account, make sure that information that you carry around in your head is safely and securely stored but accessible to someone else in an emergency. It will not only help you to be organised but will save someone else a huge amount of trouble in the future.
Check you are on the best deal for energy, mobile phones and other annual bills such as insurance. Money saving expert has a huge range of information about making sure you aren’t paying more than you should and Look After My Bills offers an automated switching system that could save you time and money. However you pay for your utilities – even if you have a smart meter for electricity, a water meter or pay as you go for any of your essential utilities, make sure that the supplier knows that you live with someone who needs care or has a disability.
Consider if it’s possible or feasible to get life insurance, especially if you’re the main earner in your family. If you’re a full-time carer and your partner works, think about how much that might cost should you not be around to provide that care.
There is more information about money management on our finances page.
Get a flu jab – you’re eligible as a carer, prioritise screenings and make sure you get an annual health check from your GP. Make sure your GP is aware that you are a carer – many keep a register of their carers to make sure they receive information and invitations for health-screening.
If you haven’t had a carer’s assessment, then arrange this through your local authority. There is more information about this on our page called Your Rights.