Many parents of children with special needs worry about their kids’ future and who will provide and care for them when they die. It’s a legitimate concern. One tool at their disposal is a Qualified Disability Trust (QDT). Please be advised, this blog does not cover ALL concerns related to QDTs, but merely provides information on what is it and what the requirements are. It does not constitute legal advice.
A QDT is a type of trust that is established for the benefit of a person with a disability in Canada when their parents or guardians pass away. The purpose of a QDT is to provide financial support while ensuring that they are still eligible for government benefits such as the Canada Pension Plan and the Old Age Security program. By design, they are to supplement government benefits so the person can maintain a higher standard of living.
In Canada, a person with a disability may be eligible for government benefits if their income and assets are below a certain limit. However, receiving an inheritance or other large amounts of money can cause their assets to exceed this limit, making them ineligible for these benefits. This is where a QDT can help.
The funds in the QDT are managed by a trustee, who has a legal obligation to use the funds for the benefit of the beneficiary. The trustee must also ensure that the funds in the trust do not affect the beneficiary’s eligibility for government benefits.
- The trust must be irrevocable: This means that the terms of the trust cannot be altered or terminated once it has been established.
- The trust must be for the benefit of a person with a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions: This means that the beneficiary must meet the definition of a person with a disability as established by the CRA.
- The trust must be established by the beneficiary’s parent, grandparent, legal guardian, or court: This means that the trust must be established by someone who has the legal authority to do so on behalf of the beneficiary.
- The trust must be established in Canada in order to receive the tax benefits associated with it.
- The qualifying beneficiary must qualify for the disability tax credit and must be a resident of Canada.
- Only one QDT is permitted per beneficiary.
- The trust must have been established in a will and arise on the death of the will-maker.
If you are considering setting up a QDT, it is important to consult with a lawyer or financial advisor to ensure that the trust meets the requirements and to understand the responsibilities of the trustee.