You may have money held in a court funds account if you are under 18 and received a compensation award.
If so, you will receive a letter from the Court Funds Office within one month of having your 18th birthday.
The letter will confirm the amount you have in the account and provide you with two options, which will be:
- To make an application to the Court Funds Office to get your money and any investments transferred to you.
- To get a decision by taking your case back to court.
In some cases, you may need the money before reaching your 18th birthday. If so, a ‘litigation friend‘ can apply to the court on your behalf.
Applying to the Court Funds Office
You cannot apply to the Court Funds Office before you are 18 years old. But, when you are old enough you should fill in the form that you received from the Court Funds Office.
You must have a witness when you sign the form and you must both sign and date it together on the same day. The witness that you use must be a person who knows you, but not a relative, (e.g. your doctor or a teacher).
The CFO will also need a copy of either your birth certificate (or adoption), passport, or your driving licence. The document that you use must:
- Have this statement written on it “I believe this to be a true copy of the original”.
- Have been signed and dated by the applicant [you] and the witness (on the same day).
Note: You must send a copy of a bank statement dated within the last three (3) months (or a letter from your bank). This is how you will confirm your account details.
Transferring the Money to Someone Else’s Account
You have the choice to transfer your money into another person’s account. But, it would mean going to court to get their approval.
Choosing What Happens to Your Investments
Some of the money may be invested in the Equity Index Tracker Fund (EITF) on your behalf. If so, you must state on the application form whether you want the investments:
- Part sold or part transferred.
- Sold and have the proceeds paid into your bank account.
- Transferred into your name.
The role of the Court Funds Office is not to offer advice about investments. But, you can get independent financial advice from several organisations, including:
- The Personal Finance Society
- Unbiased (Financial Advisers and Mortgage Brokers)
Going Back to Court to get a Decision
The Court Funds Office letter will state which court you need to contact. As a rule, it will be the same one that awarded the original award to you.
They will need to see some proof of identity (e.g. your passport). You will also need to supply a copy of a bank statement or a letter from your bank (dated within the last three (3) months).
You can have the money transferred to someone else’s bank account. If so, you must supply a copy of a bank statement (or a letter from their bank) to confirm the details.
The court will instruct the Court Funds Office to pay out the fund following a successful application. They will also let them know what you want the CFO to do with any investments held in the Equity Index Tracker Fund.
Note: You may need to supply extra documentation for an application. Check with the particular court that you are using for further details.
Transferring Your Court Funds Money
You must wait until the Court Funds Office receive the court order (or the completed forms and documents). The Court Funds Office will then transfer the money within five (5) working days to your chosen account. Following a transfer, you should allow up to three (3 working days) for the monies to clear.
ALSO IN THIS SECTION
Court Funds Money After Mental Recovery | What happens to a CFO account if you recover from illness.
Managing Court Funds Office Accounts | Check out how deposits, withdrawals, and investments work.