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Estate plans when disabled children are involved

On Behalf of | Apr 13, 2022 | Estate Planning

When parents have a disabled adult child, they likely think often about the future of their child. In these cases, when Ontario parents begin estate planning, special consideration should be made for the care of their child. Of course, there are the financial aspects to think about and address, but there are also some other issues to consider as well. 

Questions to ask

Parents of a special needs child need to know about ways in which they can provide financially for their child when they are deceased, such as setting up trusts and registering disability savings plans. Beyond just the financial aspects, here are some other questions that need to be considered during estate planning: 

  • Who will make personal decisions for the disabled adult child? 
  • Who will make decisions regarding living circumstances? 
  • Is the disabled adult child employable, and if so, will he or she be employed? 
  • What types of programs will he or she participate in, if any? 
  • Are there any personal decisions that will need to be made on a daily basis for a disabled adult child? Who will make them?  

To be on the safe side

Even if parents have been making decisions on behalf of the disabled adult child, they should apply to the court to become legal guardians of their child. In Ontario, parents do not have legal authorization to make those decisions on behalf of an adult child until the court grants a guardianship. Decisions are usually accepted without guardianship since a lot of parents have always made them without giving thought to the legalities of doing so. 

Ontario parents of a disabled adult child should take the necessary measures to ensure their estate planning matters adhere to the law. With so many critical elements of the child’s long-term future potentially at stake, having proper support and guidance when creating a comprehensive estate plan can prove invaluable. An experienced lawyer can help answer all of a parent’s questions and concerns and make sure all needed aspects of an estate plan involving a disabled child are covered and legally sound.  


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