Independent Living Trusts

These information sheets have been provided as a guide only and should not be used as substitutes for specialist advice. We try to keep them updated, however, this cannot always be guaranteed.

Also called user-managed or user-controlled trusts, these can be used to manage funds, such as Direct Payments or Personal Health Budgets, where the potential service user may not be able to manage the funds themselves. They are ideal for people with learning disabilities or dementia, as they are a means of supporting the person to maintain choice and control over their lives. They have not generally been used very much and now that Third Party Agreements have been introduced they are likely to be used less.

A legal trust Deed must be drawn up. This appoints trustees,  It is recommended that a minimum of three trustees are appointed and one of these should not be a family member. The trustees jointly take on responsibilities of managing the trust.

The trust can undertake any of the activities which a service user would normally undertake. The trust would have a bank account in it’s own name, or  use a managed banking service.

What makes an independent living trust different from other trusts is that the trustee's decisions are not driven by what they think is best for the person at the heart of the trust, but by what that person is expressing about their desires and preferences. The trustees therefore need to know the person very well and may need to take considerable time to ensure they know what their preferences are.

For more information, or for support in establishing an independent living trust, contact the Compass Disability Services or your Independent Living Advisor.