Disabled Persons Allowable Assets Increased

Disabled Persons

The British Columbia government announced that the amount of assets that disabled persons may own, without disqualifying him or herself to monthly state assistance payments, including medical, from $5000-$100,000 per individual, or $200,000 for a disabled couple.

One of the various drafting errors that I have noted over the years is the outright gift of an asset to a disabled child who will be ultimately be dependant and  entitled to state benefits for the remainder of his or her life, only to find that the inheritance, if accepted , would disqualify entitlement to the monthly benefits which in some situations are substantial due to medical costs.

As a drafting tip to will makers and will drafters , it should always be enquired into disclosed that a person being  provided for in a  will is disabled and on state benefits, so that the bequest may still be made to the person, but instead of an outright gift, the monies are given in a discretionary trust for his or her benefit , and thus if spent in accordance with the prescribed legislation, the beneficiary would not lose the monthly state benefits.

Generally speaking, the proceeds of the trust so as to comply with current pension entitlement, allows the trust  to own a house and car and their maintenance, a computer, and other items generally considered for the benefit and advancement in life, including educational purposes, for the trustee.

. The increased limit is a great boon in estate planning for the disabled , and will now encourage more parents to leave  a substantial bequest to their disabled children without fearing the cut off of the pension benefits.

Trevor Todd

Trevor Todd is one of the province’s most esteemed estate litigation lawyers. He has spent more than 40 years helping the disinherited contest wills and transfers – and win. From his Kerrisdale office, which looks more like an eclectic art gallery than a lawyer’s office, Trevor empowers claimants and restores dignity to families across BC. He is a mentor to young entrepreneurs and an art buff who supports starving artists the world over. He has an eye for talent and a heart for giving back.

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