Special Planning Required for Special Needs Beneficiaries

  • June 30, 2022
  • Tori Joseph, Tupman & Bloom LLP

Planning for one’s own demise is unnerving for most. However, considering your own mortality, and the financial implications of death on your family, is particularly distressing for parents of children with special needs. While it is common for parents to distribute their estate equally amongst their children, parents with children with special needs may need to provide for an unequal inheritance. Children have different needs, and sometimes treating children equally does not mean treating them the same. Of course, the million-dollar question for estates lawyers is – are there more likely to be will challenges in families where the will provides for an unequal inheritance, even if that inequality is due to the higher needs of one child?

In March of 2021, funding for the Ontario Autism Program doubled. The provincial government increased funding to $600 million, which was the largest investment in autism services in Ontario’s history. The Ontario Autism Program provides funding to eligible families with children on the autism spectrum. This funding is used for resources and supports for children with autism but is only available to families until the child turns 18.