You want the assurance of knowing your children will be safe when you’re gone. Plan for minor or adult dependants with special needs with a Henson trust.
Axess Law drafts Wills that provide ongoing financial support for loved ones with a serious mental illness or physical or mental disabilities.
We’re often asked, “What if one or more of my beneficiaries are minors, should I leave money to their guardians too?” A Henson trust takes care of that. You can leave life-long assets for minors or adults who need help with their expenses because of illness, disability or other causes.
Why You Need to Plan Ahead
You may mean well by leaving generous inheritances behind.
But without careful advance planning by a lawyer for Wills in Ontario, your generosity could disadvantage a family member just when they need financial assistance most.
Government benefits are intended for those in need. Estate income you arrange through a Will is counted towards recipients’ $5,000 annual limit for assets they can receive outside of Ontario government services.
Without a Henson trust, your family member risks losing financial support for rent, food, clothing and utilities. Even if your estate can’t afford to provide for all their expenses, government supports may disappear or be significantly reduced.
Life insurance, RRSPs or even survivor benefits can be enough to cause government benefits to be withdrawn.
Henson Trusts in Wills in Ontario
Henson trusts give family members extra income on top of Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or Special Services at Home allowances.
Income from investments or insurance payments your estate trustee receives on your behalf, as directed in your last Will and testament, go into an absolute discretionary trust for your child. Because income flows directly to a trust your personal representative or executor distributes at their discretion, Henson trust funds don’t affect your child’s eligibility for ODSP or Special Services at Home.
Your estate trustee can grant adult dependants up to $10,000 annually from your estate without any impact on their government benefits. They can even use Henson trust income for services usually covered by ODSP, such as groceries, dental services or rent.
And education or disability-related expenses have no cap.
Why Henson Trusts Are Recommended
Your family member deserves a good life after you pass on.
Their ODSP can cover everyday supports — special diets, plus shelter and expenses like utilities, laundry or building security. ODSP will even contribute to mortgage payments and home and fire insurance for a principal residence your child owns or shares with others.
Your estate, on the other hand, can assist a dependant of any age who needs support to enjoy life beyond just paying day-to-day bills. Just as you might appoint a guardian to care for a loved one, making a Henson trust goes a step beyond. Going to a movie, keeping a beloved pet or vacations at the lake are all possible with income received from a Henson trust.
Minors who need one-to-one support to attend summer camp or assistive devices can be aided through your estate residue. Your estate trustee can pay for extras like:
- tutoring and academic programs
- child care for minors under 12
- medical costs not covered by OHIP
- home modifications
- speech or occupational therapy
- Intensive Behavioural Intervention
- sports equipment
- or electronics like tablets, computers or cell phones.
A Henson trust gives your family member and you reassurance they will be safe after you pass on.
How Henson Trusts Work
- You set aside life insurance, investments or other assets in a Henson trust.
- Your estate trustee is granted absolute discretion to decide when or whether to make payments to designated family members.
A Henson trust is independent of your child’s estate because they have no financial control over it. Your trustee — someone you choose who is wise, honest, trustworthy and understands your child’s emotional and financial needs — decides how your money is disbursed.
Why You Need a Lawyer
Arranging an estate to protect a minor or adult dependant doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming.
Axess Law can draft testamentary Wills or make primary and secondary Wills (depending on your assets). We can include a Henson trust in your basic Will or refer you to trusted legal partners to make Henson trusts outside Wills documents.
Leaving Wills and estates in Ontario to chance can result in unintended effects. If you die without a Will in Ontario, a probate judge may appoint someone you may not agree with or even a court administrator to distribute your estate. Your family may wait a long time to benefit from a lifetime of your labours.
Even if your estate is modest, it pays to have an up to date Will from Axess Law.
Flat Rate Legal Services You Can Afford
Drafting new Wills costs so little with Axess Law’s flat rate legal fees. Call us for Wills and power of attorney appointments. Basic Wills are only $199.99 and up each and a power of attorney for property or personal care is just $50 more. You pay $249.99 and up for both.
If your personal or business life changes, see us about writing new Wills. Divorced or separating as a couple — you need to refresh your Will regularly. Making a valid Will and power of attorney (Ontario) ensures you don’t inadvertently let your family down at a critical time in their lives.
Axess Law keeps your Wills up to date without making messy or confusing codicils (amendments) and can store yours for a one-time fee of $29.99.
Book Lawyers Online Toronto Area and Ottawa
We have Will lawyers near you who can meet via video or in person at any of our open Axess law locations in Greater Toronto Area or Ottawa. Just tell us what’s most convenient for you.
We can do virtual video calls anywhere in Ontario, at times that work for you. Our remote online lawyer service uses secure video conferencing software to ensure your privacy.
Axess Law associate about making remote or in person meetings to discuss your last Will and testament.
We have day or evening appointments and are open 7 days a week any time you need us. Use our onsite parking or take transit to any Axess Law office.