We work with solicitors providing specialist financial advice and investment management services to people who have been the recipients of legal settlements after suffering a serious injury, including children and others whose welfare is safeguarded by the Court of Protection.
We aim to provide long-term financial security and also support to carers and family members giving peace of mind to those who have suffered and their loved ones.
The Court Funds Office
The Court Funds Office normally holds money awarded to a child to settle a court case until the child turns 18 and becomes legally entitled. Courts often request that a settlement is held in a cash based savings account, known as the Special Account, which currently pays an interest rate of 0.1% with effect from June 2016, down from 0.3% previously.
Money can also be invested in an Equity Index Tracker via The Court Funds Office. The tracker typically produces a low income of 2.4% per annum, which is likely to be below your expenditure requirements. As the tracker is invested in the FTSE 100 and FTSE World indices, the fund excludes Property, Fixed Interest and Structured Products which can produce higher levels of income. The fund is also prone to high levels of volatility compared to cash.
Consequently, both the Special Account and the Equity tracker offered by the Court Funds Office may not provide the most appropriate solution for you or your family.
Personal Injury Trusts
An alternative option to the Court Funds Office is to apply for the settlement to be held in a Personal Injury Trust which can be personalised and invested on a bespoke basis. Before the Court can order that a Personal Injury Trust be established, an investment report must be submitted suggesting how a different approach would be more beneficial to the client. This is something we have experience in producing.
As Personal Injury Trusts ring-fence the settlement, it therefore protects the financial award from its possible inclusion as ‘capital’ in means tested, state benefits and Local Authority healthcare grants should domiciliary care, be required.
Parents can normally be involved as trustees along with a ‘professional trustee’, usually a solicitor or accountant, who takes responsibility for the administration and running of the Trust. This effectively delegates the technical issues and responsibilities such as investment and taxation to the professionals, leaving parents free to focus on caring for their child.