Rewatch our Child Trust Funds and Mental Capacity Live Q&A

3 mins read

Wednesday 21 June 2023

Missed our recent Facebook Live on Child Trust Funds, Junior ISAs and mental capacity?

Not to worry – you can still view the recording on Facebook or watch it on YouTube, or below.

You can also read a full transcript of the session, which includes some quick links to all the questions that were answered.

Our Child Trust Funds and Mental Capacity Live Q&A

Around 100 parent carers joined us live on Monday to hear our expert panel interview with Myra from Foresters Financial and Phillip from Renaissance Legal. 

Contact’s Policy & Campaigns Director Una Summerson quizzed Myra and Phillip for an hour on an issue arising for thousands of families, whereby young people turning 18 who lack mental capacity are becoming locked out of their savings accounts.

Topics covered in the Q&A 

During the interview, Phillip and Myra shared expert insights on: 

  • What mental capacity means and how it affects access to savings
  • What options are available to young people and parent carers. 
  • What is the Court of Protection and which documents you need to use it.
  • Handy tips to think about when completing forms. 
  • Whether being an appointee is sufficient. 
  • What alternative processes some providers are using. 
  • What steps to take and when. 
  • Which other savings accounts this issue can affect.
  • Why they (and we) think that the process needs to be less complicated for families. 

A challenging process to navigate 

Phillip from Renaissance Legal told us that they have been campaigning since 2016 to make the process of accessing Child Trust Funds more straightforward for families. 

“We are trying to encourage the government to change the law. We want a simpler process for families to access Child Trust Funds where the child doesn’t have mental capacity, without going through the Court of Protection”. 

Myra from Foresters told Una that she had “enormous sympathies” for families finding themselves in the situation of having a young person unable to access their own savings and having to face applying to the Court of Protection. She said that Foresters were working with families on a case-by-case basis. While families may still have to apply to the Court of Protection, Foresters would look at each case individually. 

During the session, parents shared comments about their knowledge and experiences of trying to access their child’s trust fund account. Parents were frustrated that being a benefits appointee is not sufficient for accessing Child Trust Fund accounts. And they shared concerns about the ongoing complexity of the Court of Protection process. 

All the participants encouraged families to speak with their Child Trust Fund provider in the first instance if this affects you.

Take action on our Child Trust Fund campaigns

We are supporting parent Andrew Turner in his parent-led Child Trust Fund campaign, asking the Government to make urgent changes. 

Take action to unlocking savings for disabled children by emailing your MP.