Skip to content


Ensuring the Future of Disabled Beneficiaries through Estate Planning

Safeguard the financial security and well-being of your disabled loved ones

Crafting an estate plan for disabled beneficiaries is a pivotal undertaking, typically involving the utilization of trusts. Trusts act as a secure conduit to transmit and safeguard assets for current and future disability-related expenses, while maintaining eligibility for disability support. Let’s explore the integral factors and possibilities when constructing an estate plan for a disabled beneficiary.


Understanding the Importance of Estate Planning for Disabled Beneficiaries

Estate planning is a crucial aspect of ensuring the well-being and financial security of disabled beneficiaries. By carefully structuring an estate plan, you can provide for their needs and protect their eligibility for government assistance programs. This process involves various legal considerations and requires the expertise of an experienced estate planning lawyer.


Establishing a Trust for the Disabled Beneficiary

One of the primary tools used in estate planning for disabled beneficiaries is a trust. A trust is a legal arrangement that allows you to set aside assets to be managed and distributed for the benefit of the disabled individual. By establishing a trust, you can protect their assets, ensure their financial stability, and enhance their quality of life.


Key Factors to Consider in Crafting the Estate Plan

  • Choosing the Right Trust Structure: Selecting the appropriate trust structure is crucial to meet the unique needs of the disabled beneficiary. Options such as discretionary disability trusts (often called Hensen trusts) created in a Will, or during one’s lifetime, should be carefully evaluated in light of the specific circumstances
  • Appointing a Trustee: Selecting a trustworthy and capable trustee is of utmost importance. The trustee will be responsible for managing the trust, making financial decisions, and ensuring that the beneficiary’s needs are met. It is essential to choose someone who understands the beneficiary’s requirements and can fulfill their fiduciary duties.
  • Determining Funding for the Trust: Deciding on the assets to fund the trust is an essential step. Assets such as real estate, investments, life insurance policies, or liquid funds can be considered. The amount and type of assets will depend on the beneficiary’s anticipated needs and the desired level of financial security.


Protecting Eligibility for Disability Support Programs

One significant concern when crafting an estate plan for disabled beneficiaries is protecting their eligibility for government disability support programs. By structuring the trust appropriately, you can ensure that the assets held within the trust are correctly managed and do not jeopardize the beneficiary’s access to provincial disability assistance programs.


Ongoing Review and Adaptation of the Estate Plan

Estate planning is not a one-time event. It requires periodic review and adaptation to account for changes in circumstances, laws, and regulations. Regular consultations with an estate planning lawyer are essential to ensure that the estate plan remains up to date and aligned with the beneficiary’s evolving needs.



Crafting an estate plan for disabled beneficiaries is a complex and crucial task that requires careful consideration and professional guidance. By establishing a trust and incorporating the necessary legal provisions, you can ensure the financial security and well-being of your disabled loved ones while preserving their eligibility for disability support programs. To navigate this process effectively, it is advisable to consult an experienced estate planning lawyer who specializes in wills and estates in Canada.

Remember, taking the time to plan today will safeguard the future of your disabled beneficiaries, providing them with the support and resources they need to thrive.

For more information visit our Wills and Estates website or contact our team of experienced estate planning lawyers today to discuss choosing guardians.

Full Text:

Other Sources:


Key Contacts
Peter Bonny | Wills and Estates Lawyer | Ratcliff LLP