Putting it all together.
You have been presented with lot of information over the past couple of months regarding future planning for your disabled child. Today I am going to simplify everything down to a few important points.
Assuming your child is a minor and still years away from adulthood, there are just a few things that you need to do now. You should:
- Have a will constructed by a lawyer who understands disability issues. Take the Wills and Trusts seminar from PLAN prior to consulting the lawyer. Do not use a cheap wills kit. You need to have a lawyer involved because of the disability issues.
- Apply for the Disability Tax Credit Certificate.
- Open an RDSP. This one is a no-brainer. There is no disabled child that will not benefit from this generous government program.
There are a few other issues that can wait until your child is a teenager, at which time you need to start planning for their financial future. This includes:
- Filing an income tax return on behalf of your child. Family income from 2 years prior is used for assessing the government bonds and grants for the RDSP. This means that beneficiaries will have to file tax returns beginning the year they reach age 17 if they wish to receive the maximum grant and bond in the year they reach age 19.
- Educating yourself regarding discretionary trusts. If such a trust makes sense for your family, you need to see a lawyer to have it set up.
I have touched briefly on some of the financial issues dealing with transition to adulthood. There are numerous resources which will go into much greater detail about savings vehicles such as RDSPs and discretionary trusts. My personal favorite is PLAN. They have books, on line learning, and in-person seminars. PLAN has published a book entitled “Safe and Secure” which I highly recommend. You can pick it up for free at any London Drugs store in BC.
This has been a very brief and simple overview of some of the ways you can plan for a secure financial future for your disabled child. The primary message that I wanted to convey was that families of any financial means can plan for the future of their children.