My son has ASD, attends a special school, has an EHCP. He's only 5. We have been putting money in a Junior ISA for him since birth, it's invested in investment funds so by the time he's 18 we expect it to be a substantial amount of money if the investments perform well.
Assuming he lacks the mental capacity to manage his own finances when he turns 18 years old, is it possible to obtain a power of attorney for his money so that we can make sure it's spent on him and only for him?
It's obviously a long way off, and the law could change between now and then. But we're concerned that due to his vulnerability someone could get him to hand his money over. We will be putting money into an ISA in one of our names from now on, but I just want to make sure there's mechanism in place to protect anything we've saved for him.
He has very limited words, no idea how he'll turn out... but assuming it's the same in the future, are there mechanisms in place legally for a judge to grant the power of attorney if the person it's for doesn't understand any of it?
Has anyone here got a child who's become an adult and had to face the same situation?
You can't make an LPA until someone is 18 because as a childs legal guardian you already have certain authority. You can however apply for a personal welfare application. It can be convoluted but sometimes it's not at all. It just depends on how it's processed. The link is below.
If you wait until they are 18 you can make an LPA. It's pretty simple and can be made for as little as £82, it can even be as little as £41 if made for someone with a disability. I would advise using a solicitor though because they are fully regulated and will make it pretty much water tight.
NEVER use a "Will writing" service. I have seen them hawking their services around the Autistic community. They aren't regulated in such a way as a solicitor and don't have the same indemnity obligations. They also charge more than a solicitor and if you can do the LPA yourself to your satisfaction they are way more expensive.
Here are some more links.
All the best.