FINANCIAL CONCERNS, ESTATE PLANNING AND INCOME TAX ISSUES
Presented by Morton Cohen, Chartered Accountant
Some Brief Words About Financial Planning:
Parents and legal guardians with children who have autism spectrum disorders (and other disabilities) should have trust funds and up-to-date wills in place.
Trust: * holds your child's assets
* allows relatives to give the child monetary gifts
* allows bequests
It will cost you between $400 and $600 to hire a lawyer to set this up. It is imperative that you do this today, no matter what your age is or the age of your child (ren).
You must have enough liability and life insurance, a will, power of attorney (financial) and power of
attorney for health issues (in case you become sick). The power of attorney is a mechanism to help
others understand your wishes for your child.
Your child must have a power of attorney for financial and health issues as well.
You must have a trustee to ensure your wishes are carried out.
You must have a place for your child to live after you die.
Try contacting Assistance for Community Living (Toronto's Rod Walsh. He is the legal counsel there and can direct you to a place to get your trust set up for less money.
Be sure any lawyer you hire has this type of experience!
INCOME TAX INFORMATION
What should you claim?
Expenses directed by Licensed Practitioners.
Who are Licensed Practitioners?
Naturopaths, Physical Therapists, Christian Science, Psychologists, Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Chiropractors and anyone licensed in Ontario who is relevant to the type of therapy being used. Ask these practitioners to give you a letter on their letterhead prescribing the treatment as necessary for your child.
Keep receipts for everything (including reinforcers, parking stubs, gas receipts, office supplies, postal receipts, meals if traveling for medical help and more. Have only one item per receipt. You can claim alterations to your house, preventative diagnoses, rehabilitative therapy. Try claiming supplements prescribed by your DAN doctor.
The point is, TRY CLAIMING EVERYTHING CONNECTED TO YOUR CHILD'S DISABILITY!!! If your claim is rejected, keep filing objections. If you've missed the deadline for deductions, contact the Fairness Commission.
Diapers for incontinence: You can claim any amount over the allowance given you by Assistive Devices.
Note: If you secure the services of an accountant to help you with your income tax deductions for your child with disabilities, you can claim this as a medical expense!
BE SURE TO KEEP RECEIPTS OF ALL YOUR "PARENT EMPOWERMENT" WORKSHOPS, AND ANY OTHER COURSES, PRESENTATIONS AND WORKSHOPS YOU ATTEND CONCERNING YOUR CHILD. THESE CAN ALSO BE CLAIMED ON YOUR INCOME TAX!
Write a letter to Revenue Canada for past claims if you are turned down or you have forgotten to file and are trying to claim past years. If this does not work, contact the Fairness Commission
9: August 11, 2002
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