Legal and Financial Tools
For the special needs community, financial planning and the creation of trusts are indispensable. There is a significant risk of losing eligibility of the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) if sizable funds are left as an inheritance or gift without a Will or placed in a Trust.
Inheritance or Gift
When a parent dies without a Will, for example, the laws in Ontario provide for the distribution of his or her estate to dependents. If that inheritance exceeds the asset limits set out in the ODSP, that person may lose the ability to receive the monthly payments.
Even with a will, ODSP eligibility may be lost. “Store bought” or “do-it-yourself” wills may not be designed to address the needs of the special needs community and fail to include a Henson Trust.
The same is true for gifts made during someone’s lifetime. A grandparent, for example, may want to give the money to the grandchild receiving ODSP. If the gift is over the asset limit, ODSP eligibility can be lost.
The purpose of this section is to provide you with an explanation of the financial sources of income and the legal tools typically used in estate planning.