The Planning Pyramid
The Bright Future Quality of Life Pyramid demonstrates how leveraging effective tools can provide the level of care and support that our disabled loved ones deserve. The first layer of the Quality of Life Pyramid represents the Ontario Disability Support Program. It is the disability pension that is available to our sons and daughters after they have reached age 18, but in order to qualify for this pension, people must adhere to a cumbersome set of rules. Sadly, these regulations force our sons and daughters to live well below the poverty line. That underscores the need to establish a Henson Trust—the middle layer of the Pyramid—in their name.
It is expected that the Henson Trust will be the primary source of money for quality of life purchases on behalf of the person with the disability. When parents die, the insurance policy proceeds are delivered tax-free to the trustees of the Henson Trust, along with any allocations from the parent’s estate. The trustees spend these funds within the rules and regulations of the ODSP to enhance the quality of life of the person with the disability. Throughout this entire process, the trustees can receive support and guidance from the Bright Future Trustee Support Program.
The final layer of the Quality of Life Pyramid is the Registered Disability Savings Plan. It is an optional level of the pyramid and will generally only be entered into once the ODSP and Henson Trust have been secured. The funds that come out of the RDSP are viewed as being a top-up to the Henson Trust funds. They may partially offset the negative effects of inflation on the funds that have been allocated to the trust.