FUTURE PLANNING CHECKLIST REVIEW

                  

IDENTIFY ANY ITEMS IN THE FUTURE PLANNING CHECKLIST THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO YOU AND YOUR CHILD AND NOTE THEM BELOW.  THIS WILL HELP TO DETERMINE WHERE YOU ARE IN THE FUTURE PLANNING PROCESS.

         

  1. GENERAL INFORMATION

  2. INFORMATION REGARDING YOUR WILL

  3. INFORMATION PERTAINING TO YOUR CHILD’S PERSONAL PROTECTION

  4. INFORMATION PERTAINING TO YOUR CHILD’S FINANCIAL PROTECTION

  5. INFORMATION PERTAINING TO YOUR FUTURE PLANNING DOCUMENTS

  6. FAMILY ESTATE PLANNING INVENTORY 

     Life Planning Checklist

 

 Below is a checklist which may help you begin to plan for your child's future.  You can review the checklist and identify items that are important to you and your child.  Take time when going through the checklist.  If after reading a question on the checklist, you are uncertain about the answer, mark it "NO".  The questions that you mark "NO" are the ones where you will want to focus your time and energy.  Remember, fudging on the answers won't help anyone - least of all your child.

                       

        1.         GENERAL INFORMATION

           

            Y         N         Do you have copies of your current will?

 

            Y         N         Do you have the birth dates and current addresses of your children?

 

            Y         N         If divorced; do you have copies of the divorce decree and property settlement agreements?

           

            Y         N         Are you certain of the correct legal status of your child with special health needs (copies of guardianship orders, etc.)?

 

            Y         N         Have you prepared a list of your tangible property (autos, furnishings, etc) and their values?

 

            Y         N         Do you have totals of your current savings and chequing accounts?  Do you have the account numbers?

 

            Y         N         Do you have deeds to all of your real estate property (home, vacation home, rental property, land, etc.)?

 

            Y         N         Do you have copies of your stock and bond certificates?

 

            Y         N         Do you have copies of your insurance policies?

 

            Y         N         Do you have up-to-date information on any pension plans you have?

 

            Y         N         Have you prepared a list of your existing debts (mortgage, auto payments, etc.)?

 

            Y         N         Do you have a list of assets which may be in the name of your child?

 

            Y         N         Do you have a list of government benefits and assistance which your child currently receives?

 

            Y         N         Does your child have a social insurance number?  (If not, get one)   

                                   

         2.         INFORMATION REGARDING YOUR WILL

           

            Y         N         Do you have a legal last will and testament?

 

            Y         N         Do you have powers of attorney for your spouse and child?

            

            Y         N.       Have you identified someone to serve as a trustee of your estate? 

 

            Y         N        Have you discussed their role in regards to your child?

 

            Y         N         Have you determined what portions of your estate are to be left to whom?

 

            Y         N         Have you drafted a Life Plan, regarding in what manner your child is to be cared for in case of your death?

 

            Y         N         Have you drafted a Letter of Last Instructions which discusses funeral arrangements, location of important documents, etc?

 

            Y         N         Do the individuals who will be responsible for implementing the provisions have a copy of your will and last testament?

 

            Y         N         Have you specified that the assets left to your child are to be used to supplement and NOT supplant his/her support and care,                                         thus jeopardizing eligibility for government programs and benefits?

           

                       

          3.         INFORMATION PERTAINING TO YOUR CHILD'S PERSONAL PROTECTION

           

            Y         N         If your child is a minor, have you considered the appropriateness of provisions for guardianship after she/he reaches age 18?

           

            Y         N         If appropriate, have you selected a person to act as an advocate or advisor for your child?  Have you discussed this with the                                          person selected?

 

            Y         N         If appropriate, have you selected a person to serve as guardian for your child?  Have you discussed this with the proposed                                             guardian?

 

            Y         N         Have you selected alternates to serve for each of the persons mentioned above in the event they are unable to serve when the                                         time comes?  Have you discussed this with the alternates?

 

            Y         N         Have you considered naming an advisor to the above-named personal protectors?  Have you discussed this with the proposed                                         advisor?

                       

                       

         4.         INFORMATION PERTAINING TO YOUR CHILD'S FINANCIAL PROTECTION

           

            Y         N         Have you determined whether to leave property directly to your child or to a Special Needs Henson Trust?

 

            Y         N         If appropriate, have you identified an informal financial manager to handle assets on behalf of your child?  Have you discussed                                     this with the person?

 

            Y         N         If appropriate, have you selected and individual or corporation to serve as a Trustee for your child?  Have you discussed this                                         with the proposed Trustee?

 

            Y         N         Have you considered naming alternates for those above, in the event that they are unable to serve when the time comes?  Have                                     you discussed this with the alternate?

 

            Y         N         Have you considered naming an advisor to the above named financial protectors?  Have you discussed this with this person?

           

           

 

        5.         INFORMATION PERTAINING TO YOUR FUTURE PLANNING DOCUMENTS

           

            Y         N         Have you determined a secure storage place for the originals of your will and the related documents mentioned?

 

            Y         N         Have you distributed a sufficient number of copies of all important documents to the appropriate persons?

 

            Y         N         Do you have in writing all information regarding your child's characteristics, behaviours, likes and dislikes, etc., so that                                                 protectors and others will be knowledgeable about him/her?

Future Life Planning Guide for Parents with Disabilities

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS BY PARENTS OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES ABOUT ESTATE PLANNING

 

Do I have to disinherit my child in order to keep his/her share from going to the government?

 

Absolutely not! There are currently acceptable estate planning procedures whereby your child can participate in the benefits of your estate. Familiarize yourself with these procedures before making a decision to disinherit your child.

 

How can I be reasonably certain that the share which I leave to my child will be appropriately expended, will be available throughout my child's lifetime, and will not make my child ineligible to receive government financial support programs?

 

In order to answer these questions, you must be familiar with the concept of a trust which is an estate planning tool by which one person has the authority to manage and invest the funds of another.  There are only three parties to a Trust arrangement: (1) the Settlor; (2) the Trustee; and (3) the Beneficiary.  The Settlor is the person with the assets who by agreement sets up the Trust.  The Trustee is the person who receives the funds from the Settlor, invests them, and has the obligation of seeing to it that the terms of the Trust are carried out.  The Beneficiary is the third party for whom the entire Trust Arrangement is created and for whom the benefits are intended. If the Trust is created or takes effect during your lifetime, it is referred to as a "Living Trust", or “Inter Vivos” trust.  It is most often created by a written agreement between the Settlor and the Trustee whereby the Trustee agrees to accept the terms of the Trust arrangement and administer it accordingly.

 

A trust arrangement may also be created in your Will in which case it is referred to as a “Testamentary Trust”.  In this situation, the Trust is not created nor does it begin to operate until your death.

 

A typical Special needs Trust arrangement in its briefest form might be summarized as follows:

 

I give the sum of $75,000.00 (or 1/4 of my estate or 25% of my estate) to the no name Trust company,/or trustees as Trustee, for the benefit of my son, John Smith, to be administered as follows: "To pay so much of the income therefrom, or the whole of the income therefrom, together with so much of the capital thereof to or for the benefit of my son John Smith as my trustees shall in the exercise of their absolute and unfettered discretion consider advisable from time to time. Any income not so paid out in any year shall be accumulated by my trustees and added to the capital of the residue of my estate, provided however, that if it becomes unlawful for my trustees to continue such accumulation of income, then the income not so paid in any year to or for the benefit of my son shall be paid to a charity or the trustee(s)

 

The residue of my estate and the income therefrom shall not vest in my said son and only the interest she shall have therein shall be the payments actually made to her, or on her behalf, and received by her or for her benefit therefrom. I specifically authorize my trustees to make payments varying in amounts and at such time, or times, as my trustees in their absolute discretion may consider in the best interests of my said son" When my son dies, if there are any Trust assets left, give them to his brothers and sisters.

 

A letter of intent (this is not part of the trust agreement)

 

Everything you know about your child will die with you unless to pass this on to your child’s trustee(s). A letter of intent tells your trustee why you set up the trust and what you want the money used for, such as “you may spend the principal, and/or income of the Trust for vacations and recreational activities for John Smith during his lifetime as you may deem advisable.  Do not spend the assets of this Trust for his basic care and support which is being provided through government assistance programs. 

          

 The terms of the “letter of Intent” (i.e., the instructions that you give to the Trustee for future operation of the Trust) may be as numerous and varied as your imagination permits in order to specifically tailor the funds in the Trust to achieve your intent and enhance your child’s lifestyle.  The freedom in designing your Letter of Intent is subject only to meeting certain guidelines or laws existing in the Province where you reside and where the Trust is created and administered.

           

This Trust arrangement should meet most of your concerns.  Since the no name Trustee will use the instructions in your letter of wishes as a guideline

LINK TO 

LETTER OF INTENT TEMPLATE & GUIDE

Can I achieve the same result by giving my child's share to my other children with instruction to use the money for the benefit of their sibling (morally obligated gift)?  (Secret Trust)

 

This approach is full of dangers and traps which have absolutely nothing to do with the trustworthiness of your other children.  With no formal Trust arrangement, your child's share might very well be commingled or mixed with the assets of your other children.  Should the child holding the assets be involved in a divorce, your child with special needs' share might very well end up in the hands of your former son-in-law or daughter-in-law.  An unexpected death could result in your child's share being included and distributed as part of someone else's estate, totally defeating your intentions.  This arrangement may violate regulations under the Ontario Succession Law Reform Act.

All provinces and most states have dependent support legislation that allows a court to override a will when it does not make adequate provisions for a child who is financially dependent upon the deceased by reason of a disability. In Ontario these provisions are found in Part V of the Succession Law Reform Act. The legal obligation is found in the Ontario Family Law Act. 

 

Who should I name as trustee?  A Trust Company or a family member?

 

The Trustee may be a Trust company or an individual(s) 18 years of age or older.  The Trust company offers an element of stability and expertise in managing other people's assets.  However, a Trust company trustee often lacks a personal relationship with your child and may be totally unaware of your child's particular needs.  An individual family member has the benefit of the personal relationship and knowledge of your child's needs.  On the other hand, if that family member does not live in the same area as your child, his/her value would be greatly diminished.            

                       

 

One solution would be to direct your Trust company trustee to confer with other family members regarding the needs of your child.  Several alternatives are available, and you should thoroughly discuss the selection of the Trustee with your lawyer at the time the trust is created.

 

Are there lawyers available with special knowledge regarding estate planning for parents of children with special needs?

 

 Yes, but you must be certain that the lawyer you select is aware of the unique aspects of planning for people with disabilities.  You should be aware that the estate plans for people with special needs are unique and that most competent lawyers who are involved is estate planning should immediately recognize the situation.  What they may lack is knowledge regarding the specific needs of your child.  However, you can supply this information at the time of your estate planning conference. .  A list of special needs lawyers can be found in our Professional Resource Centre.  

  LINK TO

WHAT IS A TRUST 

LINK TO  PROFESSIONAL RESOURCE CENTRE

FAMILY ESTATE PLANNING INVENTORY ASSETS

 

                   Money………………………………………………………....................................................                

                   Cash on hand………………………………………………......................................................               

                   Chequing Account ……………………………………….........................................................                

                   Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC'S Total Value)............................................................                  

                   Real Estate (appraisal value……………………………….......................................................                       

                   Stocks (market value)…………………………………….........................................................                

                   Bonds (market or accrued value)…………………………........................................................                  

                   Investment Accounts………………………………..................................................................

                   Life Insurance (cash value) .......................................................................................................               

                   Automobiles (market value)……………………………….......................................................                  

                   Personal Property (household, jewellery, etc.)…………….......................................................               

                   Other…………………………………………………………...................................................                

                   Total Assets…………………………………………………....................................................              

                  

          LIABILITIES

                   Credit Cards...............................................................................................................................                

                   Loans..........................................................................................................................................                

                   Home Mortgage..........................................................................................................................                  

                   Income Tax (Capital Gain etc.)..................................................................................................                  

                   Legal Fees (Probate & Estate Expense.......................................................................................               

                   Final Expenses............................................................................................................................                

                   Others.........................................................................................................................................                

                   Total Liabilities.......................................................................................................................                

           

            Net Family Estate

                   Total Assets ..............................................................................................................................                  

                   Total Liabilities .........................................................................................................................                  

                   Subtract your total Liabilities from your total Assets, this is your Net Family Income

                  

                   Net Family Estate .....................................................................................................................                  

                   Number of Children ...................................................................................................................                  

                   Net Estate share per Child.........................................................................................................                  

LIFE PLANNING

CHECKLIST

FAMILY ESTATE PLANNING INVENTORY ASSETS

FUTURE PLANNING CHECKLIST

CREATED BY DPK DESIGN 2017

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