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Powers of Attorney - could you be due a refund?
On 1 February 2018 the Office of the Public Guardian launched a scheme allowing almost 2 million people to claim a refund on fees paid to register Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs).
During the period 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2017 significantly more people than expected made applications to register LPAs. The Office of the Public Guardian therefore become more efficient, and operating costs reduced to the point that it is estimated that surplus funds reached £89 million.
In April 2017 the fee to register a Lasting Power of Attorney was reduced from £110 to £82 in line with actual operating costs. It is estimated that around 1.8 million people will now be eligible to apply for a refund for registrations made during the qualifying period.
The refund due will depend on when the application was made as follows:
When you paid the fee
Refund for each power of attorney
April to September 2013
October 2013 to March 2014
April 2014 to March 2015
April 2015 to March 2016
April 2016 to March 2017
Interest can also be claimed at the rate of 0.5%.
Refunds can be claimed online by completing a short form, or by speaking to the OPG’s contact centre on 0300 456 0300. Either the donor (the person to whom the power of attorney relates) or one of the attorneys can make the application, but the refund must be paid into the donor’s bank account. Even if the donor has since died, a claim can still be made.
In the first half of 2017 there were 322,573 LPA registrations, a rise of 18 per cent on the previous year. The rise reflects an increasing concern in the possibility of developing a mental or physical illness in later life. LPAs allow you appoint one or more Attorneys to deal with your property and financial affairs, or to make welfare decisions in the event you can no longer do so. Your Attorneys may carry out everyday tasks such as paying your bills or more significant duties such as selling your house or deciding what medical treatment you receive.
If you wish to speak to someone to discuss Powers of Attorney please contact any member of our Private Client Team.