Children born after 31 August 2002 and before 3 January 2011 were entitled to a Child Trust Fund (CTF) account provided they met the necessary conditions. These funds were long term saving accounts for newly born children. The first of these children who qualified began turning 18 years of age from 1 September 2020.
For most young adults, the process is straightforward. However, if a young person lacks mental capacity and as a result cannot handle their finances, a parent or guardian must apply to the Court of Protection to allow them to manage these funds. This ensure that vital safeguards for vulnerable young people remain in place.
A new fee remission, to waive court fees, can be granted to parents or guardians of children who lack mental capacity when seeking access to a Child Trust Fund. The issue mainly arises when an application to the Court of Protection is made after the account holder’s 18th birthday. The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) is therefore strongly encouraging families to make an application before the dependant’s 18th birthday. The MOJ and HM Treasury are working with CTF providers to ensure parents are aware of this and will also work to issue refunds to those who have already paid court fees.
Around 6.3 million CTF accounts have been set up since the scheme was launched in 2002, roughly 4.5 million by parents or guardians and a further 1.8 million set up by HMRC where parents or guardians did not open an account.