Kenneth Pope speaks about pension benefits for surviving adult children dependent upon a caregiver.
If you are a municipal employee, teacher or power generator employee – hydro, and one day you’ll retire and you’ll have a pension and these are provincial statutory pensions and unlike other pensions, if you pass on, your adult dependent child would qualify for half of your pension.
So if you have a child with disabilities or special needs you retire and then you die, then your spouse first, but then ultimately your child could quite well stand to receive half of your pension. Now if you happen to be a teacher and you have a $60,000 pension, then the child stands to receive $30,000 a year, which is substantial. And it may well be that they’re now living on $11,000 a year on provincial disability benefits, perhaps, for example, they’re in supported living, their financial needs are modest. So this amount, which is their pension would disqualify them from provincial benefits but would then be used for them or accumulate and become part of their estate when they pass on.
Now if they’re capable and they either themselves or by way of a power of attorney can apply for the pension and receive it and manage it and this is fine. If they’re incapable then someone has to be their legal guardian to have legal standing to apply and manage the pension. And similarly if this has accumulated because they didn’t need that money because they’re in supported living then they’ll die with an estate, and you then get into the question of wills, capacity, intestacy if there’s no will and succession law. Because if they can’t do a will then by intestacy and succession law someone else stands to receive the estate, typically of course siblings or perhaps more extendedly their cousins. But someone by succession law will receive it and then, of course, you get into probate at the time of death and so on.
But still, from an estate planning perspective if you know that your child’s going to have a 30,000 dollar pension, for your own planning purposes this can be an important discussion.