Leaving your money to the cat

8th July, 2006

Dear Economist,

I have a two-year-old daughter. I am thinking of making contributions into her tax-free “Child Trust Fund” accounts to help with university fees or a deposit on her first home. The trouble is that under the rules of the scheme, the money becomes my daughter’s on her 18th birthday. There will be nothing I can do to prevent her blowing the cash on boyfriends, fast cars and fancy holidays. What can you advise?

Yours sincerely,

Timothy Molinari, Hackney

Dear Timothy,

You’re clearly a man who likes to think ahead, as well as being a control freak. You could, therefore, look for other ways to invest money and give out the cash on your own terms. That would mean you would pay more tax or more fees, or perhaps both. But the fundamental truth is that such schemes will not prevent your daughter from living the high life if she wants to.

What you have failed to realise is that with cash from Daddy safely tucked into a trust fund to be accessed at age 21 or 25 or even 30, your daughter can take the documentation to any bank and take out a loan at once.

What, then, to do? The obvious approach is to leave your money to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and make it perfectly clear to your daughter and her bank manager that this is what you have done…

Continued at ft.com

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