If you have a disabled child, you may be concerned about whether you should be taking extra steps when writing your will and during your estate planning. In this post, our experienced wills and estates lawyers explain what you should do to ensure your disabled child is appropriately provided for and cared for when you are gone.
Firstly, if you have a disabled child, your will must be written by a lawyer that has experience writing wills that include Henson or disability trusts. These types of trusts allow your child to continue to collect AISH when they inherit money from your estate. Without a Henson trust, your child could be unable to continue to collect AISH from the Government of Alberta, and this could adversely affect them, especially when they reach their 65th birthday. On your child’s 65th birthday, they will no longer be able to collect AISH and will be required to obtain funds from OAS or CPP.
For this reason, you need to have a will that creates trusts that will provide for your disabled child after you are no longer around. In these trusts, we need to appoint someone that you can personally trust, that will oversee the management of your money after you are gone and will also be in charge of making sure that your child is taken care of. Depending on the age and skill level of your family members, you may want to hire a professional executor, such as a trust company or an accountant or lawyer. These people have the experience to manage the trust over a long time.
If you are writing a will and have a disabled child, we will also need to carefully look at your assets and then decide on whether we should roll these assets over to the disabled child to avoid tax implications. For example, your RRSP could roll to your disabled child tax-free. This benefits the child and increases the funds that others can inherit under your will. We also need to look at whether we start a registered disability fund for that individual, and how we can maximize government benefits so that your child can enjoy the life they wish and the life you wanted them to have.
Your will should include a clause that would allow any executor to continue to contribute to an RDSP after your death. This helps increase the amount of money that your child will have to support themselves after their 65th birthday when they lose the ability to be supported by the AISH program.
As you can see, writing a will when you have a disabled child involves necessary, unique steps. That is why at Estate Connection, our dedicated team of wills and estates lawyers are ready to guide you through every step of this process. Contact us today at (780) 458-8228 or at [email protected] and find out how our lawyers can help you.