To be eligible for the Alberta Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH), the recipient must meet certain financial criteria.
This includes a requirement that the recipient and their spouse or common-law partner must not have combined assets of $100,000 or higher.
So what happens when an AISH recipient receives a gift in a will that pushes their assets over this limit? Will they be cut off from receiving their AISH benefits?
In most cases, the answer is yes.
If an AISH recipient receives an inheritance, that is considered a “non-exempt” asset that will count towards the $100,000 limit.
The result is that a gift made by a family member with good intentions could have some unintended consequences for the AISH recipient, by limiting or reducing their AISH benefits.
How do I leave a gift for my disabled child without affecting their AISH eligibility?
The good news is that trusts are considered “exempt assets” for AISH purposes.
There is no limit to the amount of money that can be held in a trust for the benefit of a disabled person. So long as the trust is set up correctly, the money will not be counted toward’s the AISH recipient’s assets.
If you have a disabled family member, it is important to ensure that your will establishes a trust for their inheritance.
These trusts can be designed with conditions to ensure that the disabled beneficiary’s needs are met without adversely affecting their AISH benefits.
How can we help?
Working with an experienced lawyer can help provide peace of mind for families who want to provide care for a disabled child after they are gone.
If you require advice with respect to creating estate planning documents that will not cause your beneficiary to lose their AISH benefits, contact us today.
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