A Henson Trust, or Discretionary Trust, is a vehicle than can be used to provide money to a child who is a recipient of the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), without impact their eligibility for the program. Since ODSP eligibility is based on financial need, a large cash gift or inheritance can inadvertently have a negative effect on an individual’s ODSP funding.
However, the ODSP rules state that a discretionary trust (also known as a Henson trust), where a trustee is fully in charge of all spending, both capital and interest, is not considered part of an individual’s assets.
How do I set up a Henson Trust?
This is a complex process, and is best done in consultation with a law professional. For extensive information on considerations in setting up a trust, see this publication made available by Autism Ontario.