Medical negligence case study

How to cope when your family life changes dramatically

We helped a couple to secure the future of their daughter after she received a settlement following medical negligence which left her disabled.

“We contacted Woodruff Financial Planning initially with no clearly developed view of our investment priorities. The service we have received has been first class in every respect; Woodruff Financial Planning has explained our options clearly at every stage of the process, always offering professional yet impartial advice and guidance. We have every confidence in the quality and integrity of service provided by Woodruff Financial Planning, and would recommend them without reservation.”

Alan and Liz Lazell – Financial Planning clients

Background

After the Court case a trust had been set up to take the damages awarded and to protect the interests of the daughter. The parents required advice on how best to fulfil their responsibilities to look after her interests and income requirements.

Problems/Challenges

Providing for their daughter’s future

Since their daughter would likely live for many years, the family needed advice on the most appropriate product and investment strategy for the trust money.

Duties of a trustee

Trustees have a number of duties and responsibilities such as the duty to diversify assets, take professional advice and look after the interests of beneficiaries.

Income v capital

The trust needed to balance the need for income to provide for their daughter’s lifestyle needs while securing the future capital in case this was needed.

Investing money

They also needed to keep the trust money invested in a diversified way to generate the best long-term returns for the trust. As part of this, regular reviews were necessary.

Our approach

Financial plan

We developed a financial plan for the trust, building on assumptions made about investment growth, income taken and the effect of tax. This gave the parents an overview as to how the trust investment should develop over time.

Investment plan

We built a portfolio of investments to aim to generate an acceptable level of income whilst growing the capital. As part of this we recommended an investment vehicle to deal with the tax position of the trust whilst giving maximum flexibility.

Outcomes and Impact

A secure future for their daughter

The family felt secure in making decisions safe in the likelihood that their daughter would not run out of money in the future.

Trustees’ duties fulfilled

The trustees were able to satisfy their duties to look after the interests of their daughter by taking specialist financial advice and diversifying the investments.

Regular reviews

Because we created regular reports for the parents they were able to demonstrate their compliance with their duties.

Continuing Support

Each year we revise their financial plan so that we can react to any changes and re-assess whether they remain on target to meet their long-term goal of security.

We also examine their investment portfolio and aim to keep it on track towards its goals while taking the least risk needed to do so.