By Winnie J Luk
If you have loved ones with special needs who are receiving support from the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), you should consider creating a Henson Trust for them.
A Henson Trust is a type of trust designed to benefit people receiving ODSP payments. It enables you to gift assets (typically an inheritance) to loved ones while protecting their entitlement to ODSP payments.
Without the set-up and use of a Henson Trust, any gifts or inheritances provided to your loved ones may result in their loss of entitlement to ODSP since the right to collect ODSP is calculated based on your loved ones’ assets included inheritances.
According to the Supreme Court of Ontario, assets held in a Henson Trust which is property set-up, could not be used to terminate the ODSP entitlement for the beneficiary.
Generally, a Henson Trust involves a trustee who has the control and absolute discretion in determining to provide assistance to the beneficiary. The trustee must be knowledgeable and stay abreast about the laws surrounding to Henson Trust in order to ensure that payments made to/for the beneficiary will not affect entitlement to ODSP. Such special trustee is often an affordable lawyer, trustee company, or other professional advisor.
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Disclaimer: This article does not contain legal advice and only provides general information. It is not intended to replace advice from a qualified legal professional and should not be relied upon to make decisions. In all cases, contact your legal professional for advice on any matter referenced in this article before making decisions. Use of this article does not establish a lawyer-client relationship.