Kenneth Pope speaks about the advantages of having a Henson Trust setup for you or a loved one with a disability. Henson Trusts are uniquely beneficial for individuals with disability as it protects their assets and inheritance while also granting the right to collect government benefits and entitlements.
One of the very first questions families ask me when we meet is what will happen to my child when I’m gone. All of my clients have children with special needs and disabilities and so this is a core concern for these families naturally.
What we do is we assist them by discussing and arranging to have them have wills with Henson Trust provisions. Now Henson Trust provisions are not just for families with kids with special needs but they are uniquely useful for families with special needs because whatever their inheritance may be, it is then held in the Henson Trust and is exempt from the provincial asset tests and the monies once received, to which there’s no limit, can then be invested and made use of for the child’s benefit until they pass on some decades later.
The trust could also hold a home for the child and the trustees of this trust are most commonly the beneficiary’s brothers or sisters. Sometimes this isn’t feasible, maybe there are no siblings or they’re in another country they’ve moved to Japan. So in that case what you could consider is a professional trustee such as an accountant, a lawyer, a financial advisor, perhaps someone who’s honest and capable. Or you could have a trust company;
Trust companies are often a good choice, although it has to suit the circumstances and they have fees obviously, but their fees are typically no more and can be less than the fees that a private trustee would charge. The will and trust provisions also provide, for after the child’s gone, where does the residue of the trust go?
So this is all provided for once the trust arrangement is put in the will, as long as you don’t revise it later, which you can do of course. And then when the child eventually dies, the residue typically goes to siblings or family or sometimes to charity. And the paperwork; the will and trust provisions generally have a long life, so once they’re set up you usually don’t have to revise the documentation for 10 or 12 years and then it’s done, you can rest easy.