This browser is not actively supported anymore. For the best passle experience, we strongly recommend you upgrade your browser.


| 1 minute read

Child Trust Funds and the Court of Protection - What's the right outcome?

Over the past year or so the issue of parents of children who have recently turned 18 trying to access the Child Trust Fund created for their loved one has featured in the news a lot - highlighting the original need for a Court of Protection application, raising a consultation as to whether a simplified access process should be introduced and ultimately determining that access to the Trust Funds needs to remain within a Court of Protection Application process.

The Court of Protection is there to protect the affairs of those lacking capacity and ensure funds are used for their needs and benefits. Sadly there are many instances of financial abuse such that safeguards like this is necessary.

But for many parents going through the process, the administrative burden feels enormous and disproportionate to the often small sums held, and the scrutiny feels inordinately intrusive for people who would never contemplate misappropriating funds. Nevertheless, the Court of Protection is a necessary safeguard to protect people who find themselves being exploited each year

Fee exemptions are available for the court application fee to apply to be a deputy in appropriate cases and legal advice may help where the costs of that are proportionate. But the biggest concerns for parents, other applicants to the Court of Protection, and professionals continue to be the lengthy delays experienced in applications being progressed and orders being received.

If the system was quicker, this would greatly assist families seeking access to Child Trust Funds and whilst the administration might still feel significant, it may just feel that there is a more appropriate balance between protection for the vulnerable person and burden on those seeking to care for them and access their funds such that safeguarding is appropriate. However, at the moment the process feels weighted on the inconvenience and feels as if there is an automatic suspicion of applicants as a result.

Let's hope that efforts to reduce the backlogs and speed up the process, including the use of the new online application process, will make a material beneficial difference.   

Tens of millions of pounds belonging to about 80,000 young people without capacity to make financial decisions could be locked in trust funds, a report suggests. Those families must go through court to access the savings when accounts mature - a process which can take months and cost hundreds of pounds. Only 15 accounts were accessed this way in 2021. The government says it is unable to share more recent figures. It says it is trying to speed up cases.


court of protection, personal injury, personal injury trusts, private legal services, probate, tax and estate planning, wills