Last year the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) admitted to charging excessive fees for registering Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) and Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) for the period 1st April 2013 to 31st March 2017.
The fees charged (£130 per document from April 2013 to September 2013 and £110 per document from October 2013 to March 2017) were well above the costs the OPG incurred in processing the applications.
Government agencies are not permitted to make a profit unless they have specific legislative authority. The amount owed is estimated at £89 million and a scheme is now in place to refund those that have overpaid.
The refund can be claimed online and the process takes around ten minutes. You can expect to receive the funds in around 12 weeks if approved.
Who can claim a refund?
The claim must be made by either
- The ‘donor’ – the person who made the power of attorney; or
- An ‘attorney’ – appointed by the donor in an LPA or EPA.
The refunds are payable to the donor, even if the claim is made by the attorney. You only need to make one claim per donor, even if you registered more than one power of attorney, but refunds can be payable for multiple registration fees.
Please note that Greene & Greene cannot claim a refund on behalf of a client, even if we were involved in the preparation and/or registration of a power of attorney.
How much you will get?
How much you get depends on when you paid the fees.
|When you paid the fee||Refund for each document registered|
|01/04/2013 – 30/09/2013||£54 plus 0.5% interest.|
|01/10/2013 – 31/03/2014||£34 plus 0.5% interest.|
|01/04/2014 – 31/03/2015||£37 plus 0.5% interest.|
|01/04/2015 – 31/03/2016||£38 plus 0.5% interest.|
|01/04/2016 – 31/03/2017||£45 plus 0.5% interest.|
If you applied for a remission when you made your application and paid a reduced fee, you will get a reduced refund.
Mr & Mrs. Smith made Lasting Powers of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs and for Health and Welfare in August 2013 but did not register them.
In July 2016 Mr Smith began to lose capacity and he decided to register his Lasting Powers of Attorney so they would be available to his Attorneys to use in the future.
The refund due to Mr Smith is £90 (plus interest), being £45 per document.
How to claim
Claims can be made online via the following link: https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney-refund
In certain cases it may be necessary to claim by phone.
If you have any questions relating to Lasting Powers of Attorney please contact Martine Swaep (firstname.lastname@example.org ~ 01284 717458).
For more information on the services offered by Greene & Greene Solicitors please visit www.greene-greene.com and follow on Twitter @GreeneGreeneLaw.