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A Guide To Estate Planning For A Child With Special Needs

A Guide to Estate Planning for a Child with Special Needs

Estate planning is essential for everyone. It helps inform and dictate one’s wishes and preferences regarding medical scenarios, legal scenarios, and more. It should always be a part of one’s life. 

Now, if you are a parent or guardian to a child or adult with special needs, this is something you must pay attention to. Estate planning for yourself can be challenging. It’s even more of a complicated process when you’re doing it for someone else, particularly your child with special needs. 

A proper estate plan will ensure that your loved one is properly cared for and has a good quality of life even after you’re gone. Here are the most important things you must do to get started:

Inter-Vivos Planning

One person creates this for the benefit of another person during one’s lifetime.

—Enduring Power of Attorney

This document authorizes another person to be your proxy for all business and legal matters related to your child. They will be responsible for helping your child get the financial aid they need. Of course, they will only have this power should you be unavailable or otherwise incapacitated. 

Make sure to get this in order before any such situation arises. Remember to consult with an estate lawyer about your options and other best practices to ensure your child’s well-being. 

—A Living Trust 

A living trust is also known as a revocable trust. It is a legal document that establishes a trust that allows for the easy transfer of your assets. Often, there is plenty of complex legal work involved in that process, but this makes it more accessible. The assets you put into this trust can be distributed to your child as an allowance or used to cover expenses. 

Testamentary Planning

This plan is created to distribute your assets and detail your wishes after the event of your passing.

—A will 

Your will plays the most crucial role in estate planning for your child with special needs. Everything you need to have for them to maintain a good life after passing should be detailed here. 

It’s also essential to include a letter of intent with these documents. A letter of intent should express your wishes for your child, specific information about their care and health, and so on. If you require assistance, you can always consult with an estate lawyer about how to write a will. 

—Savings Plan

Your savings plan should include more than just your assets. Apart from what you can pass down to your children, there are other government benefits that you can use to take care of your child. 

Here are some examples:

  • Registered Disability Savings Plan
  • Registered Retirement Savings Plan
  • Registered Retirement Income Fund
  • Tax-Free Savings Account

—A Trust

Finally, create a trust where all the assets that remain after your passing can be distributed to your loved one. This trust should be carefully worded to leave no room for misinterpretation or room for others to take advantage of. Make sure to work with an estate lawyer so that you can use the right words.


Estate planning for your child with special needs can be overwhelming. While it may be challenging initially, you must remember that in the end, this will protect them and help them live their lives after you pass. Of course, you must ensure that your estate plan leaves room for flexibility to cater to your child’s unique needs. 

If you are looking for an experienced and reliable estate lawyer, we can help you. Ontario Wills & Estate Plans is a law firm based in Ontario that serves all of Canada. Our services are available through video conferencing. Get quality legal advice from the best Ontario lawyers. Contact us today to learn more about our services!

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