On 1 December 2020, the Government announced that parents and guardians of children who lack mental capacity can ask for Court fees to be waived when seeking access to a Child Trust Fund.
The Child Trust Fund was set up in 2005 and it meant that children born between 1 September 2002 and 2 November 2011 received a voucher from the Government to invest in this Tax-free savings account. Parents could also top up the account with extra funds and when their child turned 18, their child would take control of the funds held in the account, including the interest accrued.
However, if a young person lacks the mental capacity to manage their finances, they will not be able to access those funds on turning 18 and parents or guardians need to apply to the Court of Protection to allow them to manage those funds on their child’s behalf.
This announcement therefore means that families who need to access funds held in the Child Trust Fund to improve that young person’s start into adulthood, can ask for the Court fee for the application to be waived. Those who have already paid this fee, can likewise ask for a refund.
It was also announced that a new working group would be set up to consider what else can be done to streamline this process and make it more accessible, thus reducing the administrative burden on families.
Here at Wolferstans we are delighted to hear this news however still understand that many families will need to access legal advice to assist them in their application to the Court of Protection. Our Court of Protection team understand that young vulnerable people who are affected by this will need every penny of that money to improve their start into adulthood. We are therefore offering families the chance to speak to a member of our team for some free advice as to how they can obtain an Order to access those funds, possibly without going down the Deputyship route.