Securing family support

Although the suitable investment of an award of damages can help to meet many material future needs that might occur as a result of personal injury, sometimes the greatest asset of all is the support of one or more family members.

Ensuring that this support can remain in place, and having a plan to replace it if it stops for any reason, is an important element when undertaking financial planning.

There are a number of ways we can help to achieve this.

For example, a family member (typically a parent, partner or child) might need to give up work in order to care for their loved one, thus losing an income from a wage or salary.

By way of recompense for the care provided and in recognition of the financial sacrifice being made, it is possible to make gratuitous payments out of the award of damages to the family member.

Importantly, we can help to ensure that these payments are made without the deduction of income tax or National Insurance, as well as best making sure that they do not fall foul of Inheritance Tax (IHT) rules.

Whether or not gratuitous payments are made to family members in respect of the care that they provide, the equivalent cost of having the care provided on a commercial basis (i.e. by professional carers) is likely to be significantly higher. In other words, if the family member is no longer able to continue acting as carer, the award of damages will need to meet additional costs in order to maintain the same level of support.

One of the greatest risks is the death, or long-term illness, of a family member, meaning that they are no longer able to provide care.

It is possible to mitigate this risk, to an extent, by putting into place suitable life assurance. Such cover would act as a financial ‘security net’, which would help to provide immediate and ongoing replacement care and support.

Whilst no amount of money can compensate for such tragic circumstances, ensuring that care needs continue to be met is still of the utmost importance.

As well as ensuring that future insurance needs are met, it is also always prudent to assess whether any latent benefit is available under any existing policies. We have, on many occasions, managed to secure a payout from an existing insurance policy that would otherwise have been overlooked.


My name is Amy and I am now 24. I have cerebral palsy, which I why I can’t talk or walk. This often means people don’t realise I am otherwise a normal human being.
My name is David. I’m 52 years old and live with my wife, Lesley, and ‘Bernie’ our very affectionate and inquisitive Jack Russell. I was involved in a serious accident at work in 2005 and broke my back and suffered an acquired brain injury.

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