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Ask James Mather Your Own Question
James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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My 17 yo daughter is on the point of turning 18 (28 Feb) and

Customer Question

My 17 yo daughter is on the point of turning 18 (28 Feb) and has a Junior ISA which I currently hold for her in my name (with her named 'a/c' after my name). When she turns 18 she will be allowed to control the money (some of which she earned - £1000; some I earned - £1000 -and paid it into the JISA for her; some came from my father - £1500, with the stipulation that she spends it wisely). As she is currently very unreliable with money and is strongly under the influence of her 48yo unemployed boyfriend, I wish to protect the money and put it in trust for her for later when she is more grounded.

How do I do this ?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  James Mather replied 5 years ago.
Do you have a specific question?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

My question is how best for me to retain control of the money until I feel that she can put it to good use - as was intended when it was given to her. As she turns 18 in a few days time this is fairly urgent.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

What further info do you need ?

Expert:  James Mather replied 5 years ago.
Does your daughter know about this money?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.


Expert:  James Mather replied 5 years ago.

Does the partner know about the money?

Is she happy for you to keep control of it?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

She is currently living at home with me and doing A Levels (when she attends) and I strongly believe she will have told him about it. My feeling is that he is waiting until she is 18 to 'up the ante' on all manner of things - there is no love lost between him and myself as he controls her 100% and what he tells her to do, she does.

No, she will not be happy for me to keep control of the money which is why I need legal advice as to what to do before she turns 18 on 28th Feb.


She has had mental health issues (bullimia, self-harm) for past 3 - 4 years and been under CAMHS / psychiatrist for a couple of years - also was admitted to (mental health hospital for teenagers) in Dec 2011-Feb 2012, and met him (was targeted by him) when she was volunteering in Barnardos Charity Shop (where he had been volunteering - I believe in order that he could continue to get dole money). Incidently, have tries doctor / police / social services, you name it to get her out of his clutches, but no-one interested as she is 17 and 'she can make up her own mind'! Also 4 suicide attempts since she has known him.

Expert:  James Mather replied 5 years ago.

Thank you. As you
appreciate I can only help you with the legalities and I'm sorry to tell you
that the news is not good.

If a trust is set
up with only one beneficiary even though it may specify that the beneficiary
does not get the proceeds until aged 25 or, at the discretion of the trustees,
provided the beneficiary is over 18, they can bring the trust to and under the
rule in Saunders v Vautier.

If there are two
beneficiaries them both of them have to agree.

If the trust account
had been set up with your daughter and someone else, with someone else as a
minor beneficiary (for a nominal amount) than that of the person would have to

The situation as
it is at the moment is that the bank account is an account which, whilst only
in your name, holds it on trust for your daughter. Your daughter is therefore I
am afraid legally entitled to the money, if she wants it, aged 18. Although, if
you will not sign to release it, it can stay there, where it is and she cannot
get it without making an application to court.

The situation
quite simply, is that she is 18, she is of majority age and she is entitled to
deal with her own finances as she feels fit which unfortunately would include
spending on alcohol, gambling, or the boyfriend.

At this stage, I
would probably leave it where it is because moving it serves no purpose.

I appreciate that
this is not the answer you wanted but there is no point in me misleading you.
There is no magic way of keeping her hands off this money.

Can I help

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The thread remains open.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for your answer.


I'm really sorry, but I have just had a reply from someone I phoned before contacting you and they have said that your information applies to only a Bare Trust. She has said that I can set up either a Discretionary Trust or an Interest in Possession Trust (this is the one that she recommends) which would not allow my daughter access to the money until a specified age unless agreed by the trustees.