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    • Hutchy81
    • By Hutchy81 5th Sep 17, 6:41 PM
    • 4Posts
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    Hutchy81
    Housing benefit & savings for grandchildren
    • #1
    • 5th Sep 17, 6:41 PM
    Housing benefit & savings for grandchildren 5th Sep 17 at 6:41 PM
    Hi
    I was hoping somebody could help with the below question and give my mum some peace of mind.
    My parents have been claiming Housing benefit and council tax benefit since retiring. They had always had savings accounts for my boys for which both myself and mum are trustees, these were established when mum was working and have around £3k spread across three accounts. They have been asked to prove savings and reference was made to one of these accounts. Mum has supplied proof but wasn't aware it should be included within the £16k savings limit. It's possible with this amount included they may be over the limit and she is worried to death that she has mistakenly not declared. I have assured her that only residents of the house savings are included but she is in a panic.
    It would also be good to know going forward is there an amount that's acceptable to save for grandchildren per year that isn't deemed as improper.

    Many thanks for your time.
Page 1
    • tomtom256
    • By tomtom256 5th Sep 17, 7:31 PM
    • 886 Posts
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    tomtom256
    • #2
    • 5th Sep 17, 7:31 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Sep 17, 7:31 PM
    To be fair if on benefits, should you be wasting money, because if you need help to live as you are on a low income, luxuries have to be cut?

    That being said, are the accounts in your children's names or can your mother withdraw the cash as it all depends on what type of account you have setup?
    • Hutchy81
    • By Hutchy81 5th Sep 17, 8:31 PM
    • 4 Posts
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    Hutchy81
    • #3
    • 5th Sep 17, 8:31 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Sep 17, 8:31 PM
    Understood but call her old fashioned wanting to put money in their accounts for birthdays and xmas etc. Carrying on a tradition they had started during their full time working careers, albeit at a much reduced amount.
    What I am trying to understand is that as a trustee to these accounts does it class as personal capital for which she should declare? All accounts are in her grandchildrens names with myself and her as trustees. Just for clarfication these funds were all saved during my parents working lives and have had no further contributions since retirement and falling on difficult times.
    • tomtom256
    • By tomtom256 5th Sep 17, 8:53 PM
    • 886 Posts
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    tomtom256
    • #4
    • 5th Sep 17, 8:53 PM
    • #4
    • 5th Sep 17, 8:53 PM
    Understood but call her old fashioned wanting to put money in their accounts for birthdays and xmas etc. Carrying on a tradition they had started during their full time working careers, albeit at a much reduced amount.
    What I am trying to understand is that as a trustee to these accounts does it class as personal capital for which she should declare? All accounts are in her grandchildrens names with myself and her as trustees. Just for clarfication these funds were all saved during my parents working lives and have had no further contributions since retirement and falling on difficult times.
    Originally posted by Hutchy81
    Can she withdraw money from them without you at anytime or is it just your children that can? Does she have a beneficial interest in the accounts?
    • Hutchy81
    • By Hutchy81 5th Sep 17, 9:35 PM
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    Hutchy81
    • #5
    • 5th Sep 17, 9:35 PM
    • #5
    • 5th Sep 17, 9:35 PM
    They have been set up sometime so I will look into that however I am pretty sure she just opened them originally, more than 10 years ago.
    • kaym89
    • By kaym89 5th Sep 17, 10:27 PM
    • 11 Posts
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    kaym89
    • #6
    • 5th Sep 17, 10:27 PM
    • #6
    • 5th Sep 17, 10:27 PM
    My son has an accessible savings account with just over 1k. It has been declared even though it wasnt asked for on the form, i photocopied the form after filling it out and defo doesnt ask about childrens savings only the claimant and partners. I included the account number etc. It was not included as part of my capital even though they know full well i can withdraw from it because that is the only reason i declared it in the first place. I would be nowhere near the limit for it to affect my hb anyway but on my award forms still only has my 2k on the award letter although its alot less now
    • venison
    • By venison 5th Sep 17, 11:21 PM
    • 1,284 Posts
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    venison
    • #7
    • 5th Sep 17, 11:21 PM
    • #7
    • 5th Sep 17, 11:21 PM
    OP its always best to declare ALL accounts then let the relevant people decide if they count as savings or not. It may well be included as savings if she has access to them.
    I am now a Board Guide on the Credit card board and the Loan board and Benefits board (But give me time to learn the ropes thanks).
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 6th Sep 17, 8:06 AM
    • 4,082 Posts
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    TELLIT01
    • #8
    • 6th Sep 17, 8:06 AM
    • #8
    • 6th Sep 17, 8:06 AM
    There is a big difference between simply setting up an account 'for the grandchildren' and a formal trust arrangement. The OP refers to herself and her mother being trustees of the account and, if that is formalised by way of a Child Trust Fund or similar, the money should not be classed as the grandmother's savings. If it is simply an account set up in the grandchild's name, but from which the grandmother could withdraw money, it will count as her savings.
    • bspm
    • By bspm 6th Sep 17, 8:48 AM
    • 439 Posts
    • 677 Thanks
    bspm
    • #9
    • 6th Sep 17, 8:48 AM
    • #9
    • 6th Sep 17, 8:48 AM
    We have opened four Savings Accounts for our four grandchildren with a sizeable opening amount, they have regular amounts paid in every month also.

    The accounts are in our grandchildren's names but even though we opened them the people responsible for these accounts are their own parents. Any paperwork and notice of Interest goes to their parents. We are not allowed to withdraw.

    I would not count this as our money but then we do not claim income based benefits.

    If we ever did need to claim income based benefits I would just stop paying their monthly allowance in, but I still would not see it as our money.

    Bit of a grey area I guess.
    • kaym89
    • By kaym89 6th Sep 17, 9:12 AM
    • 11 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    kaym89
    They never added my sons savings to mine it would have made my capital almost 4k if they did. If it wasnt asked for in the forms then surely the grandparents can appeal on that basis should there be an overpayment. How can anyone know to report a change if it was never asked for in the first place.
    • tomtom256
    • By tomtom256 6th Sep 17, 9:38 AM
    • 886 Posts
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    tomtom256
    We have opened four Savings Accounts for our four grandchildren with a sizeable opening amount, they have regular amounts paid in every month also.

    The accounts are in our grandchildren's names but even though we opened them the people responsible for these accounts are their own parents. Any paperwork and notice of Interest goes to their parents. We are not allowed to withdraw.

    I would not count this as our money but then we do not claim income based benefits.

    If we ever did need to claim income based benefits I would just stop paying their monthly allowance in, but I still would not see it as our money.

    Bit of a grey area I guess.
    Originally posted by bspm
    It's all about being able to withdraw from the account, that's the crux of the issue with means tested benefits.

    If its a proper trustee account there would be no issues.
    • kaym89
    • By kaym89 6th Sep 17, 9:56 AM
    • 11 Posts
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    kaym89
    Should be no issues for them anyway, i can withdraw from my sons savings anytime and it still wasnt included. I have a copy of my signed application form and it does not ask about childrens savings whether its in a trust fund or can withdraw from it anytime. If they added my sons to mine then i would know that once it reaches 6k i would need to report it. Because it wasnt asked for in the form or added to my capital then if my sons savings pushed it to 6k i shouldnt have to report it and i would argue that its not recoverable and have evidence to back me up.
    • parkrunner
    • By parkrunner 6th Sep 17, 2:50 PM
    • 754 Posts
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    parkrunner
    Do they receive pension guarantee credit?
    • Icequeen99
    • By Icequeen99 6th Sep 17, 7:44 PM
    • 3,450 Posts
    • 2,348 Thanks
    Icequeen99
    Should be no issues for them anyway, i can withdraw from my sons savings anytime and it still wasnt included. I have a copy of my signed application form and it does not ask about childrens savings whether its in a trust fund or can withdraw from it anytime. If they added my sons to mine then i would know that once it reaches 6k i would need to report it. Because it wasnt asked for in the form or added to my capital then if my sons savings pushed it to 6k i shouldnt have to report it and i would argue that its not recoverable and have evidence to back me up.
    Originally posted by kaym89
    I think you've been lucky.

    Children's savings do not count for housing benefit, that is why the form doesn't ask for them.

    But you can't just say savings are for a child - if you own the capital then it is yours even if you have saved it for your children.

    It depends on who is the legal and beneficial owner of the money. If you have full access to it, can withdraw it and there is no trust or other arrangement in place then you own the capital and it wouldn't count as children's savings.

    It is also explained in this HB guidance https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/365782/hbgm-bw1-assessment-of-capital.pdf

    IQ
    • tomtom256
    • By tomtom256 6th Sep 17, 7:47 PM
    • 886 Posts
    • 1,631 Thanks
    tomtom256
    Should be no issues for them anyway, i can withdraw from my sons savings anytime and it still wasnt included. I have a copy of my signed application form and it does not ask about childrens savings whether its in a trust fund or can withdraw from it anytime. If they added my sons to mine then i would know that once it reaches 6k i would need to report it. Because it wasnt asked for in the form or added to my capital then if my sons savings pushed it to 6k i shouldnt have to report it and i would argue that its not recoverable and have evidence to back me up.
    Originally posted by kaym89
    If has your name on it, it's your account, that's the point that is being made.

    Unless it is an official trust account in the child's name but has to have an adult named on it.
    • kaym89
    • By kaym89 6th Sep 17, 8:55 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    kaym89
    Its just a regular child savings account i opened for him as a baby had to provide his birh certificate when i opened it and can withdraw anytime. it says im trustee for it but has my sons name on it. I I did declare it because i did think it would have been included and to save my back if they questioned it in the future. If it ever reaches 6k in total and they do say something its likely an overpayment will be wiped off
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