Vulnerable clients and those with special needs
The term “vulnerable” can be misconstrued or interpreted as impolite; but, in the parlance of the FCA, a “Vulnerable Consumer” is specifically defined as “someone who, due to their personal circumstances, is especially susceptible to detriment, particularly when a firm is not acting with appropriate levels of care”.
Our firm is specifically aligned to provide specialist, flexible and tailored services to meet the needs of those clients.
Our approach is always the same: to understand the often very complex (and sometimes distressing) needs of our clients and then act on behalf of their very best interests – usually ensuring that those needs will be met for the rest of their lives, which can often extend beyond the lifespan of their family carers.
The general aim of making financial provision for someone, often a dependant, with special needs is to create a safety net which can be used to give them a degree of future financial independence, and enable them to afford “luxuries” which basic state benefits and/or statutory funding will not provide.
However, if these arrangements are not structured carefully, they can - in practice - disrupt or even preclude access to state benefits and funding. The end result can be that the ultimate beneficiary becomes the State, rather than the intended individual.
We have a very close personal interest in financial planning for dependants with special needs. It stems from the fact that one of our directors is the parent of a son with Williams Syndrome. That has made him passionate about disseminating helpful information to other parents, carers and support networks.