Best interests decision arising from an application by R's father for authority to execute a deed of settlement so that R’s inheritance is held in a disabled person's trust.
R, in his thirties, has a lifelong disability and it was agreed he lacked capacity. His mother’s cousin (T) had died three years ago and left a third of his estate - in the region of £400-600k - to R absolutely. This application was made by R's father, who is also his property and affairs deputy. The underlying basis of the application was that this change would best match T’s intentions and would mean R’s means tested benefits would be protected. The OS, as litigation friend, viewed it differently agreeing that there would have been a considerable advantage to R if T had instead placed that inheritance in trust, as the funds would then be disregarded, but that is not what occurred.
HHJ Hilder, after reviewing the relevant case law including SM v HM and Watt v ABC, refused the application for, among many reasons:
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