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How can I help my child if their child trust fund is maturing?

Written by Neil Kealey

Your child’s child trust fund will mature when they turn 18. Find out what happens next, how they can access their money and how they could keep up the savings habit.

I get it. Being a parent is full on. We’re juggling jobs, chores, and, of course, parenting in a digital world. So it’s easy to lose sight of distant things like the impending maturity of child trust funds. But, before we know it, our children are turning 18 and there’s a whole world of new things to deal with – not least, what to do with the money in their child trust fund.

I know that when my children turned 18, I had a lot of questions about what happened next, so I’ve gathered some of the common questions here to help take the mystery out of child trust fund maturity.

Helping your child manage their child trust fund when they turn 18

My child doesn’t have the mental capacity to take over their Child Trust Fund, what can I do?

We realise how frustrating this can be for lots of families, which is why we’ve trying to persuade the government to change the rules requiring families to go through the expensive Court of Protection route. It’s also why we are doing all we can to work with parents to find an affordable but safe way for these teens to access their money.

The first thing to do is to give us a call on 0344 8 920 920 so we can talk through your situation and look at your options for getting access on your child's behalf.

During this process we’ll need to see a copy of an official letter or document showing your child is unable to make financial decisions for themselves. You may already have a letter that shows this - we can let you know what we can accept when you call.

Here's some more information about what we’ll need.

Can I access information about the Child Trust Fund after my child has taken over the account?

Once a teen has taken over their Child Trust Fund, as parents we’re no longer able to access the account, which includes access to their online records. Only the teen will have access to that information.

But the opportunity to save or invest for the future doesn’t end with the Child Trust Fund. We offer a wide range of products that you may be interested in now that your teen’s Child Trust Fund is maturing.

Can the money in a Child Trust Fund be paid to me or someone else?

As parents, we aren’t allowed to receive the money on their behalf. OneFamily is only allowed to pay the proceeds of a Child Trust Fund to the child who is named on the account.

This can either be by cheque or directly into their bank account.

We’ll get in touch about how this will work as they approach 18.

What do I need to do if my child has changed their name, gender or title?

We understand how important it is to use people’s preferred names, titles and pronouns. So, if your child has changed any of these, we can help. We’ll just need to see some evidence of the name change.

It would also help to know their preferred title or pronoun so we can change the way we communicate with them.

Can I pay into a child trust fund after the account has matured?

While it isn’t possible to pay into a matured child trust fund, as parents we can open an account for another child or even treat ourselves.

Please take a look at the other products we offer.

How can I stay up to date with the account?

If you're the Registered Contact for the Child Trust Fund, you can log in to check the balance. But once your child turns 16, they have the option of taking over as Registered Contact, which will mean you can no longer see the Child Trust Fund. This will happen automatically when they turn 18.

If you're still the Registered Contact, we'll be in touch with you as your child's 18th birthday approaches. If they've taken over, we'll contact your child directly.

That’s why it’s important that we hold your current address, phone number and email address. So, if you’ve moved and lost touch with us, it would be a good idea to make sure we have your latest contact information as soon as possible.

Registering for the online portal can also help us to stay up to date. It’s a great way to keep an eye on how the Child Trust Fund is doing and see information about their options at 18.

Finding your child's child trust fund

I’m not sure who holds my child’s child trust fund, what can I do?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone!

In fact, there are estimated to be about a million lost CTFs out there. If your child’s account isn’t held by us, it’s relatively easy to find out who looks after it by using our Find a Child Trust Fund tool.

My child was eligible for a child trust fund, but I didn’t open one for them. How can I find out if they have one?

If your child was born between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011 and is a UK citizen, the chances are, they have a child trust fund.

That’s because if an account wasn’t opened within a year, the government opened one on the child’s behalf. These are called ‘Revenue Allocated Accounts’ and you can find out where your child’s account is by following this guide.

Father Helping Son With Homework Sitting At Kitchen Table

More about child trust fund maturity

You may also be interested in:

How do I know if the government gave me a child trust fund?

If you were eligible for a child trust fund and your parents didn't open one for you, the government will have done it instead. Here's how you can find out if you have one.

Government responds to child trust fund improved access campaign

We’ve been campaigning since 2020 for a change in law that will make it easier for child trust fund holders who don’t have mental capacity to access their own money.

Should I reinvest my Child Trust Fund money?

When you turn 18 and finally get access to the money in your Child Trust Fund, do you plan on spending or reinvesting it?

How to access your Child Trust Fund

You can become the registered contact for your OneFamily Child Trust Fund from the age of 16. Then, at 18, you can decide what you’d like to do with the money in your account.