Could you be owed a refund ?
£89,000,000.00 in surplus fees
According to a recent ‘Which?’ report, around one million people are due refunds on their Power of Attorney fees but very few have as yet made a claim. Between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017 the operating costs of the Office of Public Guardian (OPG) were reduced by the Ministry of Justice, but the fees to register a Power of Attorney stayed the same. This resulted in a surplus in fees of around £89million, out of which those affected can now claim a refund.
Either the donor or attorney appointed under the Power of Attorney can claim a refund. The refund will be paid to the donor.
Did you register a Power of Attorney between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017? If so, you may be eligible to claim a refund of part of the application fee paid to the OPG.
How much can I claim?
Date the application fee was paid
Refund for EACH Power of Attorney (plus 0.5% interest)
April 2013 to September 2013 £54
October 2013 to March 2014 £34
April 2014 to March 2015 £37
April 2015 to March 2016 £38
April 2016 to March 2017 £45
The refund applies to each Power of Attorney that was registered. Therefore, if you registered a Power of Attorney for Property & Financial Affairs and for Health & Welfare in April 2013 you could claim up to £108. (Please note, if you paid a reduced application fee to the OPG, you will receive half the refund).
It is free to make a claim. Claims are made on-line and full details can be found on the GOV.UK website. You will need to claim your refund by 31 January 2021.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is an important legal document that allows you to appoint others to act on your behalf and make decision in relation to your property and finances and also in relation to your health and welfare. It is not about giving away your assets but about ensuring that they can be managed in your best interests by someone you trust if circumstances arise in which you cannot or do not want to manage them yourself. They are therefore important documents to consider when planning for your future, just as important as having a will.
By Victoria Osborne
Partner, Taunton Solicitors
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