As our office specializes in helping individuals with a disability as well as their families, I am often asked this question. Quite recently I met with Sandra and her daughter, Stacy, at my law office in the Stittsville-Kanata area of Ottawa. Stacy had been diagnosed with autism at a young age. They wanted to know whether Stacy should sign a Will. They advised that Stacy has a Registered Disability Savings Plan (‘RDSP’) of about $65,000 and a small bank account.
I advised Sandra and Stacy that the fact that Stacy has a fairly significant RDSP which continues to grow makes it essential for her to have a Will. In her Will, Stacy could direct that the funds in the RDSP should go back to her parents assuming they outlive her. A Will would also allow Stacy to name her choice of executor or estate trustee to administer her estate. Depending upon the size of her bank account upon her death, it is possible that a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee (‘probate’) would not be required. This could save considerable legal fees as well as estate administration tax often called ‘probate fees’. Without a Will, nothing could be dealt with until an executor or estate trustee was appointed.
The more challenging question, however, is whether or not Stacy has the mental capacity to sign a Will. In our next blogpost, we’ll discuss this important question. The following blogpost will explore what happens if Stacy does not have the mental capacity to sign a Will.
Do you have questions about how best to provide for a loved one with a disability? Or about what estate planning your loved one with a disability should be doing? Call 613.836.9915 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment to meet with me at my Ottawa law office. We will review your family’s unique situation and discuss the estate planning options available to you and your loved ones.
Reproduction of this blog is permitted if the author is credited. If you have questions or if you would like more information, please call us at 613 836-9915. This blog is not intended to be legal advice but contains general information. Please consult a lawyer or other professional to determine how the information in this blog might apply to you.
Blog posts pre-dated December 1, 2015 were originally published under Neff Law Office Professional Corporation.