Third Party Trust

Allows family and friends to fund a loved one’s future.

What is a Third Party Trust?

A Third Party Trust (also known as a Common Law Trust) is funded by the beneficiary’s family and/or friends, rather than the beneficiary themselves. It can be funded either during their lifetime and/or through an estate plan.

Who can open this trust?

Any person other than the beneficiary can fund this trust during their lifetime and/or through their estate plans.

How does it work?

Family and friends of an individual with a disability can gain peace of mind by providing for their loved one while still preserving the individual’s eligibility for essential, lifelong supports and services. Funds remaining at the death of the beneficiary are distributed according to the trust document to other individuals and/or organizations.


  • Experts at Achieva Family Trust add valuable social service expertise to the traditional role of a corporate trustee.
  • Family and friends can fund the Third Party Trust during their lifetimes and/or through their estate plans.
  • The Third Party Trust can be flexible and can benefit additional family members or friends.
  • When the beneficiary passes, any remaining money is distributed according to the terms of the trust agreement to other family members, friends, charities, etc.

How Do I Start? 

  • First, we'd encourage you to contact us to better learn how to get started opening a Third Party Trust.
  • Then, if you are opening a Third Party Trust, you'll start by contacting an attorney familiar with drafting special needs trusts. You can start by looking at our Attorney List.
  • If you want to dig deeper, you can review the Common Law Trust Sample Language available in a Word document or PDF file.

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