Are you entitled to a fee refund for your Lasting Power of Attorney?
A new scheme has been launched to refund those who may have paid more than they should for applying to register powers of attorney. The scheme is being administered by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), who are the government body that monitor deputies and attorneys.
If you applied to register a lasting or enduring power of attorney with the OPG between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017, and paid an application fee, then you could be due a partial refund. The scheme will run for 3 years.
The reason for this is because the OPG’s processing costs have been reducing in recent years. This lead to the Ministry of Justice lowering the application fee in April 2013 from £130 to £110 per registration, and again in 2017 from £110 to £82 per registration. The refund scheme allows those who paid a higher fee when costs were reducing to claim a partial refund, as the government is not allowed to make any form of profit from the services that they offer.
How the LPA refund scheme works
If you, or someone you are acting for, thinks they may be eligible for a refund you can find more details and make a claim using the online service. Only the person that made the LPA or EPA (the ‘donor’), their attorney or deputy, or personal representative can apply for the refund. Only the person that made the LPA or EPA, or their personal representative if they have died, can receive the funds. Deputies and personal representatives should call the helpline below.
Only one application is needed per donor, as the OPG’s computer system will pick up all the refunds due to the person from the details provided. Interest will be applied to the refund at a rate of 0.5% from the date that the original registration fee was paid.
A solicitor or other professional may be able to deal with this on behalf of the donor, but it is very unlikely that this will be cost effective, due to the relatively small amounts of money involved. The application process has been designed to be as easy to use as possible. Basic information about the donor, such as their name, address, date of birth, name and date of birth of at least one attorney, and the donor’s bank details will be needed to complete the application. The process is likely to take around 12 weeks from start to end.
If you find dealing with issues online difficult, please contact the refund helpline by calling OPG on 0300 456 0300 and selecting option 6. Lines are open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9am to 5pm and Wednesday from 10am to 5pm.