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Planning for Persons with Special Needs

There are a wide variety of planning solutions for individuals who have special needs such as autism, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, serious personal injuries, attention deficit disorder, or other types of personal challenges. 

The family member’s assets may need to be managed and secured. Where possible, we can assist with preparation of Wills and Powers of Attorney in which the family member can appoint a parent or family member to look after his or her affairs. Alternatively, court-appointed guardians may be required to manage their property or their personal care.

We can assist with the decision to establish Registered Disability Savings Plans or the creation of special trusts, such as a Henson Trust or Inheritance Trust, to preserve the beneficiary's entitlement to government benefits under the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

Our estates lawyers have assisted numerous families in designing a plan that will provide for family members with special needs.

Feb 03, 2014 | Case Study

Disabled Beneficiary

The Problem The father of a disabled, 30-year-old son died suddenly without leaving a Will. His estate is worth under $100,000. His son and his si...

Apr 22, 2014 | Presentation

Planning and Administration of Henson Trusts: Some Practice Tips

It is now common practice for parents with disabled children to incorporate a Henson trust in their estate plan.

In most cases, the share of the estate allocated for the disabled beneficiary is directed to be held by a trustee in a fully discretionary trust during the disabled child’s lifetime. The trust is typically created in the parent’s Will. The trustee is given discretion to pay income or capital to the child and income that is not allocated to the child is typically directed to be accumulated in the trust, subject to the provisions of the Accumulations Act that require trust income to be distributed after twenty-one years.

The disabled child’s share of the estate is set aside in such a trust, both for the purpose of preserving the beneficiary’s entitlement to government benefits and to avoid the need to appoint a guardian of property to manage the disabled family member’s interest in the estate.

When drafting Henson trusts, it is important to have an understanding of the Ontario Disability Support Program (“ODSP”) rules and exemptions.

We will first provide an overview of the ODSP plan and conclude with some Will planning and estate administration tips.

Apr 01, 2009 | Article

Estate Planning: Providing for the Special Needs Beneficiary

John Simpson has Down Syndrome. His parents, wanting to provide for him after their death, named John’s sister Doreen as Executor of their estate and earmarked a proportion of the estate for his care. Now Doreen is shocked to find that because John is inheriting from their parents’ estate, he is no longer entitled to the government benefits that she was counting on to pay his expenses.

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Telephone: 905.451.3040 Fax: 905.451.5058 Email: lls@lawrences.com

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