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Child Trust Fund court fees waived for parents

Parents or guardians of children who lack mental capacity can ask for court fees to be waived when seeking access to a Child Trust Fund, the government has announced.

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.

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 safeguard exists to protect vulnerable people from fraud or abuse.

Parents and guardians who apply to the court before their child's 18th birthday already do not pay fees, unless the child has other substantial assets. The Ministry of Justice and HM Treasury are working with trust fund providers to ensure that parents are aware of this and can take necessary steps.

The announcement means that families who need to access the money in this fund to help support the young person's future can now ask for fees to be waived.  Those who have already paid can request a refund under the plans. A new working group will also consider what more can be done to streamline the process and make it more accessible for parents.
This follows concerns from parents and campaigners that the system can be stressful and costly for families.

Eligibility for fee remission is based upon the capital and income of the person who is lacking capacity – in this case the child. The vast majority of those applying to the Court of Protection will not have to pay a fee if they:

Updated guidance has been provided to the Court of Protection to address these circumstances and when a fee remission is applicable.? This will ensure that parents, guardians, and young people do not suffer the consequences of not being informed they need to apply prior to the young person's 18th birthday.

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