A Child Trust Fund (CTF) is a long-term, tax-free savings account for children. The money belongs to the young person and they can only take it out when they turn 18.
However, children who lack mental capacity may be unable to manage their finances by themselves and a parent or guardian must apply to the Court of Protection to allow them to manage these funds.
Child Trust Funds are long-term savings accounts that have been granted to children who were born between 2002 until the end of 2010.
The intended purpose was to encourage children to learn the skills needed to manage finances later in life.
If the child has mental capacity then there is no issue, but for those who lack capacity and are due to turn 18 or have turned 18, they will have difficulty accessing their funds.
With rules and regulations set in place to help safeguard vulnerable people from fraud or financial abuse, parents and guardians were previously spending hundreds of pounds in court fees to help their teenagers enjoy their money.
The Ministry of Justice however has waived court fees for parents or guardians applying to the Court of Protection seeking access to a Child Trust Fund.
Our Court of Protection Solicitors can help by giving you the advice needed to ensure your child will be able to enjoy their trust fund savings as soon as they turn 18. Applications can also be made for those children who are already 18 but have not yet been able to access the fund.
How can I help my child manage their Childs’ Trust Fund?
If your child is unable to manage their trust fund and you wish to help them, you can apply to become a ‘deputy’.
A deputy is a person appointed to act on behalf of the Child Trust fundholder. If you are a parent or carer of the holder, you will be able to apply to the Court of Protection to become the child’s deputy.
The Court of Protection is responsible for making decisions for individuals who are unable to make them for themselves.
We understand accessing your child’s trust fund can be a confusing task, which is why we are on hand to provide you expert legal advice tailored to you and your child’s specific needs and requirements.
There are several responsibilities that a deputy must follow.
Deputies must act in accordance with the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, work closely with family members, and ensure that every decision they make on behalf of the person is in their best interests.
Deputies are commonly close family relatives of the person who needs assistance, however, you can apply to become a deputy if you are aged over 18 and have mental capacity yourself. Sometimes professional deputies are instructed to make decisions as well.
Our team of solicitors are experienced in dealing with a wide range of matters and have helped draft many applications to the Court of Protection.
How long will it take to become a deputy?
The process to become a deputy will vary due to the specific matters involved, and it may depend on how long it takes for an assessor to report on mental capacity (should a report be required). The Court of Protection is now working hard to resolve a considerable backlog of applications and we would urge applications to be commenced swifty to avoid further delay.
The majority of applications progress without difficulty however if any of the people who have been notified object to the deputyship application, then the proceedings may take a lot longer to resolve.
Why Choose Us
We have been advising clients since 1792 and therefore we have a great reputation for understanding and getting the best results for our clients.
Speak to us about your circumstances and we’ll always explain your options, any fees, funding options or legal aid eligibility and tailor the advice to your individual needs.