August 25, 2021 by Nancy Ling
Partner Nancy Ling regularly advises clients in the practice areas of wills, trusts, estate and incapacity planning, estate administration, residential and commercial real estate, property matters, corporate transactions and business law.
In this edition of Legal Matters, Nancy explores the options of who you choose as a beneficiary when it comes to your will and if they would make a good fit taking into consideration their financial situation. One such consideration is if that beneficiary already receives the Person With Disabilities government benefit, it could make them ineligible.
When preparing a Will, we consider who you want to inherit from you and your chosen beneficiaries' specifics and financial situations. For example, perhaps you don't want to leave a bequest to someone who's going through bankruptcy or someone who has an addiction. One situation we frequently plan for is beneficiaries who receive the Person with Disabilities Government Benefits, often called PWD. Many parents don't want to disinherit their children who qualify for PW benefits; however, they know that leaving them a large bequest will cause them to lose their eligibility for those benefits. The government recognizes that it's wise for families to make financial arrangements for their family members with disabilities. Therefore, they will allow you to set up a trust for them. The assets held in this trust will not be applied towards their asset limits under the PWD program. However, there are specific rules and requirements for these trusts, and you should get proper legal and accounting advice to know if a trust is the best option for your family.