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| 1 minute read

Child Trust Funds and benefits impact - navigating the conundrum

Child Trust Funds are in the news again for the impact they can have on a child's entitlement to means tested benefits where the funds exceed £6,000 (or the relevant threshold for different benefits). In cases where there is a balance of such an amount, 'justifying' the costs involved for a Court of Protection application for a Deputyship to manage all of the child's financial affairs (court application fee, annual Deputy Bond insurance, Office of the Public Guardian allocation and supervision fees and - possibly - legal advice fees) might be more appropriate than in smaller value cases.

However the length of the process, the difficulty in navigating the firms, requirements - and considering for how long this might be needed and if the management of affairs can revert 'back' to an appointeeship - are all important considerations. In short the outcome remains at best unsatisfactory in my view.

The Government have promised resources are being made available to speed up the process - lets hope that promise materialises and the length of the process is shortened - whilst small comfort, dealing with greater speed might at least mean that quicker access to funds can avoid unnecessary interruption to benefits - and could assist in equipment, therapies and other essential services and good being accessed for adult children now entitled to their Child Trust Fund accounts.

For families who have children with life-long conditions and additional needs, this is just another fight for them to face - lets hope that the profile of this issue and its material impact on incapacitous children and their families will lead to a more wide-spread consideration of how governmental systems and processes can be redesigned to make the system work with and for people, rather than feeling constantly as if it is working against them.

Thousands of disabled young people who have money stuck in Child Trust Funds could also have their benefits cut. About 80,000 young people have savings in trust funds and are unable to unlock their money without going to court. Analysis by BBC News suggests about 4,000 of those are eligible for universal credit, but will receive lower payments because they have more than £6,000 in their accounts.


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