Discretionary Trusts
 
Individuals with a mentally or physically challenged family member face unique estate planning issues. Few families have the resources to completely fund their dependant’s long-term care and rely on government supplementary programs. In some provinces, gifting assets directly to your dependant, through your will, can jeopardize this supplement.
 
In this situation, a discretionary trust can allow your member to provide for their dependant, without risking loss of benefits from government programs. In a discretionary trust, the member (the Settlor) names the beneficiaries and then gives authorization to the trustee (Concentra) to determine how the assets are to be used. In addition, they may name an individual to act as an advisor to the trustee – acting as an advocate for the beneficiary; or they may provide the trustee with a Letter of Direction, outlining the nature and type of expenditures they consider appropriate.

Because none of the beneficiaries have an enforceable entitlement to the assets of the trust, they will not be taken into account when determining eligibility for government support programs in most jurisdictions.
 
Your member may wish to consider establishing a Discretionary Trust if: 
  • They have a mentally or physically challenged family member.
  • They do not have the resources to fully fund their long-term care and rely on government supplementary programs.