Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)


Helping people who lack contractual capacity create an RDSP even when they don’t have a substitute decision maker

Every estate planner recommends that you appoint someone to make decisions for you if you reach a point where you can’t make those decisions yourself. Typically, you do so by signing a power of attorney appointing a trusted person to make decisions about your property and personal care if you become unable to make those decisions.

If you don’t have a power of attorney, and if you become incapacitated, a trusted individual, like a family member, has to go to the Public Trustee’s office to secure the right to make decisions concerning your property, and before a judge to get the right to make decisions about your personal care. Both are time consuming processes.

Federal law provides that if you can’t establish an RDSP yourself, the plan holder has to be your legal representative, according to provincial or territorial law(subsection 146.4(1) of the Income Tax Act, c.f. “qualifying family member” and “qualifying person”)

Some provinces and territories have streamlined their provisions to let a trusted individual manage an incapacitated person’s property, while others have yet to develop such systems. For those provinces and territories that have yet to develop their systems, the federal government provides a temporary streamlined process that allows a family member (parent, spouse or common-law partner) to be an RDSP plan holder. This measure was set to expire at the end of 2018, but will be extended until the end of 2023, to allow all provinces and territories to amend their laws.

For more information on the 2018 federal budget, please visit

2018 Federal Budget Highlights for Families

Several key changes relating to personal financial arrangements are covered in the Canadian government’s 2018 federal budget, which could affect the finances of you and your family. Below are some of the most significant changes to be aware of:

Parental Leave

The government is creating a new five-week “use-it-or-lose-it” incentive for new fathers to take parental leave. This would increase the EI parental leave to 40 weeks (maximum) when the second parent agrees to take at least 5 weeks off. Effective June 2019, couples who opt for extended parental leave of 18 months, the second parent can take up to 8 additional weeks, at 33% of their income.

Gender Equality

The government aims to reduce the gender wage gap by 2.7% for public servants and 2.6% in the federal private sector. The aim is to ensure that men and women receive the same pay for equal work. They have also announced increased funding for female entrepreneurs.


Effective for 2021 tax filings, the government will require reporting for certain trusts to provide information to provide information on identities of all trustees, beneficiaries, settlors of the trust and each person that has the ability to exert control over the trust.

Registered Disability Savings Plan holders

The budget proposes to extend to 2023 the current temporary measure whereby a family member such as a spouse or parent can hold an RDSP plan on behalf of an adult with reduced capacity.

If you would like more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.