21st December 2017
Hopefully this will increase the chances of improvements to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
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.
My solicitor introduced Ian Rowe to me in 2009. This was initially in respect of state benefits advice relating to mortgage support.
Ian was able to discuss with us the advantages and workings of a personal injury trust, explaining how this would protect our entitlements in a manner that was easy to understand. He dealt with all of our initial concerns relating to the trust, which was, at that time, an unknown entity. After talking things through with Ian, we were sure that a Trust was the best way forward for us.
Ian came to visit us at our previous home which was unsuitable for my needs. I was heavily dependent on Lesley for support and I could see that this was taking its toll on Lesley’s health and well-being. Lesley, at the time, needed to manage my needs round-the-clock as well as run the home. There was simply no opportunity for Lesley to pursue her own interests, nor did I have much opportunity to escape the confines of my room.
Ian was instrumental in securing Local Authority care funding and guided us through the complicated processes and regulations. He was able to keep the care assessment on track despite the Local Authority's best efforts to delay or avoid providing much needed support. Each year since, Ian has been on hand when the Local Authority has tried to reduce its level of input, without following the rules, to get things back on track. With Ian’s input we have managed to retain the level of support to which we are entitled and our stress and anxiety over the assessment process has been reduced by the pragmatic approach Ian adopts and the knowledge he is able to share.
Since the conclusion of my personal injury claim, I have been able to spend my damages making my life better; particularly by being able to get on with buying and adapting our new home. But a once-and-for-all final settlement gave rise to many new concerns. We had had no experience of managing a large sum of money and it was clear that we would need to remain in our previous home until such time as our new home had been adapted to meet my needs. Ian was able to ensure that for the period of time it was necessary to own both properties neither led to a disentitlement of means-tested support.
The range of decisions that needed to be made at that time seemed overwhelming. However, Ian was able to prioritise the decisions that needed to be made immediately and was able to ensure that the award was safe from the risk of bank insolvency; at the time the current temporary enhanced protection of compensation funds did not exist. This allowed us time to make decisions only after fully considering the options available to us and being confident in the agreed way forward.
The advice provided was understandable, logical, addressed our concerns and highlighted issues, together with solutions, that we had not previously thought about. Ian ensured that the right external experts were available to advise us in relation to our Wills and property ownership in addition to establishing the Trust’s investment portfolio.
Financially, life post-settlement has become more predictable and Ian visits with us each year to discuss the portfolio, how it has performed and how our objectives may have changed. Ian always goes through the affordability of our current spending, so that we have the peace of mind of being able to live for today without selling our financial future down the river.
We have confidence in our financial security and understand our financial plan, allowing us to focus on the other aspects of life.
Ian manages our financial world so we don’t have to worry about it and the advice given has enabled us to make the best of our circumstances.
Finding the right person to make your investment decisions, was important for my peace of mind. For me, it was more than the performance of the funds, but trusting the person that was pulling the strings. At PFP I felt that I had a team, all working together in order to meet my expectations. From the first phone call I made, to my last meeting. I had complete confidence in their ability to advise me, on how best to manage my portfolio.
Following an accident in November 2007 I was introduced to Ian Rowe from PFP approximately 6 months later. Since then PFP have been able to offer first-class advice on how to set up a personal injury trust, and then manage it over the coming years.
The advice has always been easy to understand, logical and entirely appropriate to levels of risk etc. Investments have been presented in a clear and concise manner, review documentation easy to understand and digest, and any changes necessary provided in a timely fashion.
I would have no hesitation in recommending the services of PFP to anyone if they are faced with a situation similar to mine.
Ian Gunn and his team at PFP have been looking after our daughter's investments since 2006. In that time, the services provided to us have been excellent. We have received a comprehensive, professional and honest service with a helpful, personal, friendly touch.
There would be no hesitation, from us, in recommending PFP to anyone who is looking for expert advice and guidance, who are in the same situation as us.
When our son age 9 was involved in an RTA in August 2001, he was awarded compensation for injuries sustained. We knew this money was required long term and had to work for him. We were introduced to PFP and Richard Cropper by our Solicitor and what a great recommendation it was. Richard has worked tirelessly for our son and his fund has grown, which has enabled him to be independent.
We are always kept up to date on the progress and changes if required and an annual review where Richard comes to us. All the staff at PFP are very knowledgeable and sensitive in all areas and we would have no reservation in recommending Richard and the rest of the company. They feel like an extension of our family.
Since my daughter was awarded a Personal Injury Payment over ten years ago, Richard Cropper and his team at PFP have helped and guided us to ensure her assets are wisely invested to ensure the money she will need to pay for the care she will require for the rest of her life is safeguarded. In spite of the vicissitudes and uncertainties of the times we live in - and a hitherto unknown instability of the financial sector, Richard has done a magnificent job.
I feel, after over a decade of sure advice, that our choice of adviser could not have been better and hope our working relationship continues for many years to come. I would not hesitate to recommend Richard (and his team) to anyone who is searching for a financial adviser with an extensive knowledge of personal injury, the future needs of that individual and whose integrity and honesty is without question. He is also - (and this is terribly important to anyone who is struggling with the complexities of the financial markets and the driving need to care for their loved one) - very approachable and friendly. He makes my life better and eases my worries with kindness and compassion - without making me feel I am asking daft questions (and I ask quite a lot ...).
Richard is ace!
For the last fifteen years PFP have been advising us as trustees about our son's medical negligence award. Not only this, but they have also assisted us greatly on any benefits and allowances that our son can claim. Without exception we have always been treated with the best possible care.
I specialise in Court of Protection and Personal Injury Trust matters. I act as a Financial Deputy and Trustee in numerous matters. Most of them involve very substantial investments. I have dealt with PFP on various cases over the years, and continue to do so. My main contacts are Ian Gunn and Richard Cropper (as well as Joanne Moores for Welfare Benefits Advice).
I have always been very pleased with the services provided by PFP. Based upon my experience of dealing with them, I have always found PFP to be very professional and helpful in their approach and service
Many of our clients with significant compensation awards have used Personal Financial Planning to advise about and manage their investments. We have found Richard Cropper and his staff to be totally professional and extremely knowledgeable. Richard always deals with clients and their families in a kind, supportive and accessible way. Richard is our “go to” financial adviser for clients with large awards.
Ian Rowe and PFP are our go to trusted experts for financial advice for our clients. The client care is excellent, Ian and Richard make the complicated seem simple.
I have instructed Richard Cropper and PFP for many years on behalf of my Court of Protection clients. I have to say the service provided is second to none. Their dedication and expertise in investment of personal injury awards sets them apart from other IFAs they truly are unique.
The investment process is explained in detail to each and every client/parent in a simple and understandable way which is personal to them. The benefits advice service is outstanding. I would have no hesitation in recommending PFP.
Whilst acting as professional deputy and trustee to many brain injured clients, I having dealings with PFP on an almost daily basis. I cannot praise Richard Cropper and James Rooney highly enough for the advice they provide in their detailed yet easy to understand reports. The manner in which they interact with my clients is second to none, always speaking in plain English and putting the clients at ease in sometimes difficult circumstances. The support staff I deal with are very efficient and always happy to help.
Over many years, Ian Rowe has provided prompt and timely advice to many of my Clients, often in cases where it has been appropriate to set up a Personal Injury Trust. He has frequently taken the time to visit my Clients at their homes, at whatever time has been convenient to the Client, with a view to providing detailed but clear independent advice to enable the Clients to make a decision as to how best to proceed.
In the past, some of my Clients have commented upon Ian’s pleasant and pragmatic manner and others have commented upon his willingness to go the extra mile, as and when any issues have arisen that required his early intervention.
For many of our catastrophically injured Clients, Richard Cropper of PFP provides us with extremely comprehensive Viability Reports, which are of enormous assistance when Clients are seeking advice in relation to the most appropriate form of award e.g. whether a lump sum basis and/or periodical payments. His professional input is often invaluable, particularly in the run up to Joint Settlement Meetings or Trials.
I have worked with Joanne Moores of PFP for several years now. Joanne’s advice in welfare benefits matters has been invaluable to me in my capacity as Deputy appointed by the Court of Protection to manage the financial affairs of various clients who are deemed not to have capacity.
Joanne’s knowledge on all matters related to benefits and the Department of Works and Pensions is very comprehensive and wide ranging. I have found her to be extremely approachable, very thorough in the advice that she gives and she always offers sensible and practical advice. Her depth of knowledge in her field is invaluable for those who are advising clients on all matters relating to personal injury trusts and deputyships. I will have no hesitation now or in the future in recommending Joanne to my colleagues for professional advice and assistance.
I have been with PFP for 10 years and their advice and knowledge has been invaluable.
They regularly provide updates and have always been available to answer any queries or to explain options within my portfolio. As I find it difficult to travel Mr Cropper comes to visit me at home on a yearly basis. I would recommend PFP to anyone in need of help with their financial planning.
We have known Ian Rowe for nine years, he has always dealt with us with care and attention. Ian is always very professional. He is always one step ahead regarding our investments and his forecast is spot on. Ian is very good at listening to our needs for this year and for the long term. He makes great decisions regarding our investments.
Personal Financial Planning has provided financial support and understanding over the past few years for my husband’s injury trust. They have at all times provided a comprehensive and holistic approach to his needs, been mindful of his limitations, and worked within his capabilities of understanding. The whole team at PFP are always friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, and provide a service that is accessible and supportive. Ian in particular has always taken time and shown patience in making sure we both fully understand exactly the financial aspects and implications of any advice being given, whilst making sure any recommendation is relevant, clear and concise. I would highly recommend the financial service they provide.
I am my son’s Advocate, Mum and Carer. I organised his activities, timetable and daily living. Myself and my late husband have tried to obtain the appropriate care and support throughout his life.
Due to changes in the Social Services Department in Derbyshire four and a half years ago, when they withdrew his entitlement of 12 hours per week direct payments, saying he no longer fitted their criteria, two years ago we were put in contact with Joanne Moores (Welfare and Benefit Advisor) through my son’s Financial Adviser, Ian Gunn.
Joanne came to our home and advised us to contact Derbyshire Social Services and ask for a re-assessment. Joanne gave us confidence and support to start this process again. Her role was invaluable, taking over the appointments, liaising directly with the social workers and managers at Derbyshire, arranging the meetings, coming to our home, there are lots of things that Joanne has helped with to improve my son’s life.
Joanne has reduced the Community Tax drastically with exceptions we were unaware of.
Joanne handled the re-assessment of our son, dealing directly with Social Services. She gained the re-instatement of his Care Plan, a weekly amount of £224 back dated for 12 months. Supported us throughout this period taking a lot of stress out of the situation. She also checked that my son was receiving the right benefits e.g. (DLA, Mobility etc.).
I know that also in the future if there are any changes in the Law I can call on her expertise.
Joanne has an empathy with the clients and a knowledge of disabilities which proves exceptional in her role.
I needed an injury specialist Independent Financial Advisor/consultant. Nothing anywhere explained what to do, what there was and how they can help you. So many websites and companies, no references or guidance. PFP was recommended by my solicitors. I was frightened of putting my money somewhere that it shouldn't be and risk losing it, I needed someone to listen, give reassurance, respect, confidentiality and support.
Ian Rowe went through the process, my questions and options. It was all so daunting. The main thing was that I was advised to open a personal injury trust for the money to be protected straight away from means tested benefits.
We discussed what happens, my needs for the future options of funding, investments, stocks and shares, financial levels of risk, short and long term goals, the benefit system, wills and more. A portfolio was set up covering everything.
I have annual reviews to discuss and show where my money is, income, expenses, costs and a running total, followed by a plan for the next year and more, dependent on my needs and any changes. Ian has been thorough, honest, gained my trust and respect.
I have been with the company now for over 7 years and would recommend them to anyone who has a personal injury claim and awaiting compensation that needs to be put somewhere safe. They are there to protect you and your money.
Potter Rees Dolan has for very many years instructed Richard Cropper of PFP in relation to its most difficult catastrophic cases in which settlements have invariably been in the £millions. Over the years, Richard Cropper has been my “go-to” IFA and I have found that the written and verbal advice which he provides in the most difficult of cases, to be both crystal clear and authoritative. He has a natural ability to understand difficult legal principles in a case and balance those with a Claimants’ needs, taking into consideration the procedural requirements. His advices on mode of award are invaluable, especially at settlement meetings. Quick on his feet and similarly quick in producing written reports, he is always a very welcome addition to the expert team in these most complex of cases and is also able to provide comprehensive advice on what is often a very difficult statutory landscape. Richard consults at the highest level but always has the Claimants’ interests at the heart of what he does.
I have worked alongside Ian Gunn for many years and have found him very professional and trustworthy and have no hesitation in recommending him as an advisor to my clients, the majority of whom have suffered life changing injuries and require very careful management of their award - from the creation of special needs/personal injury trusts to investment. Always approachable, clients have found him very clear in his advice and highly efficient in all aspects of the service which he provides.
From the time our Daughter received her damages award we have consulted PFP on all financial matters. We have been extremely pleased by the courteous, and professional advice provided by Ian Gunn and his team. Whatever the query we have found them very approachable always receiving a personal service in return, and we would have no hesitation in recommending them to other parties.
Hopefully this will increase the chances of improvements to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
To reiterate the importance of considering trust advice at the most appropriate time, the following case study highlights one of the issues of deferring advice to too late a stage
The answer, of course, is that all have at some point been the subject of a speculative bubble.
The Justice Committee's report on the proposed discount rate legislation concluded, amongst other things, that there was insufficient evidence of over-compensation to justify the abandonment of Wells.
The 2017 release of the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), conducted in April 2017, was published on 26th October 2017.
The government has recently announced changes to the reassessment criteria for the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) for some Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit (UC) claimants.
For any regular visitors to the PFP blog page you may recall an article from 9th February 2017 dealing with the issue of placing properties within personal injury trusts and the room for error if suitable advice is not sought. This article sets out the journey through the Tribunal appeal and the decision notice issued.