Parents of people with disabilities have an overwhelming concern about what will happen to their sons and daughters after the parent have died. They want to ensure that their children will have a decent quality of life but the question has always been how to accomplish this without terminating their sons and daughters entitlement to Government Support Program. In Ontario, the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) deems people with liquid assets in excess of $5000 to be ineligible for benefits so to leave an inheritance was not the answer.
In 1989, a landmark court case provided us with a Trust that has become the answer for thousands of families in Ontario and now, in other Provinces. This special trust has been nicknamed the “Henson Trust” after Leonard and Audrey Henson who were the key players in the case. Ultimately, the Henson Trust has become the vehicle in which parents of people with disabilities can leave unlimited amounts of money for the well being of their sons and daughters without interfering with their entitlement to ODSP benefits.
Families have been establishing Henson Trusts in their Wills. They were instructed to appoint a Trustee or group of Trustees to manage the trust and to spend the trust money for the benefit of their family member with a disability. The problem for the Trustees is that the information on how to manage the trust and on how to spend the funds is difficult and time consuming to find.
This is where the Special Needs Planning Group’s Trustee Support Program comes into play. The Program is specifically designed to support Trustees of Henson Trusts in their quest to enhance the quality of life of a person with a disability in Ontario through the Henson Trust. We assist in providing the knowledge necessary for the Trustee to administer and manage the trust in a manner which will ensure that the purchase of quality of life enhancements will not have a negative impact on the ODSP benefits and that to do so will not become a full time job for the Trustees.
If you are or will become the Trustee of a Henson Trust, we can be your support team. Our program shares information with you in areas like:
Where do you start
The workings of trusts and your duties and obligations
The Trustee Act’s directions to your actions
ODSP Asset Rules
ODSP Income Rules
ODSP Spending Guidelines
Keeping Everything Organized and Accessible
Reporting Requirements of ODSP, Tax Returns, and Passing of Accounts
What Happens at Age 65
The Trustee Support Program provides this and much more at no cost to our clients. This means that the money left behind to provide for the person with the disability is not sucked away by administrative fees charged by some people offering “on the clock” fee for service assistance.
Remember, being a Trustee of a Henson Trust need not be a frightening thing. With the proper support team in place, the task of managing the trust can be simplified freeing up your time for the most important job; that of providing a decent quality of life to the person for whom the trust was established.
If you are interested in reaping the benefits for yourself and for the person you have been entrusted to provide for, our Trustee Support Program is for you. Please feel free to contact us so that we can see if the program is right for you.
Please e-mail us:
The "Special Needs" Planning Group
70 Ivy Crescent,