How a Will Can Provide for People with Disabilities

Planning for an estate with a person with a disability is not easy. It’s a specialty area of law, so you should consult a lawyer with experience in it.

 

Caring for minor or adult children with special needs is a big challenge for parents. With a carefully crafted Will, you can make sure your child has continuing support even after you are gone. A Will can:

 

  • ensure your disabled child lives in a good environment
  • let you plan your child’s education and decide where he or she can work
  • determine how much income your child receives

Key Things to Consider:

 

  • the income needs of the person with a disability beyond what they can get under the government benefits plan
  • the size of the estate
  • the needs of other beneficiaries
  • the possibility that the person with a disability may not qualify for government benefits in the future*

*If he or she becomes employed or the rules for benefits change.

 

Government Disability Support Programs

 

Many people under a disability, whether they are minors or adults, receive government benefits. The quality of and eligibility for these benefits varies from province to province.

 

If a person with a disability receives something under a Will, his or her government benefits may be reduced. But you can avoid this. The solution is to create a Henson Trust.

 

Henson Trusts

 

A Henson Trust allows people with a disability to continue to receive government benefits even though they have an interest in the trust. It is known as a discretionary trust. The trustee has the power to decide how to make payments of income and capital from the trust.

 

Parents should be very careful in selecting a trustee, who will have the sole discretion to make payments for the benefit of the disabled child. Try to consult a lawyer experienced with Henson Trusts.
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