Do You Have a Lasting Power of Attorney? You Could Be Eligible for a Refund of the Registration Fee
- AuthorChris Shaw
Thousands of people set up and register Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) each year whilst they are fit and well, as a sensible way of allowing a trusted person - an Attorney - to assist them and make important decisions on their behalf about health and/or their financial position, if they are unable to do so as a result of a future physical or mental disability.
Some of those people who set up LPAs may now be entitled to a refund of the registration fee paid to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) – the organisation which records LPAs. If you applied to register a LPA between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017 you can claim a partial refund of the application fee.
Claims can be made easily online via the website below or by contacting the Refund Helpline on 0300 456 0300 (choose option 6). You will need the UK bank account number and sort code of the person who set up the LPA (known as the Donor) to claim the refund and it can take up to 12 weeks for the claim to be processed and paid.
The anomaly has arisen because between those key dates the application process became more efficient, but cost savings made by the OPG were not passed on to consumers in the form of lower fees.
The OPG should only charge fees to recover its operational costs, but only reduced the registration fee in April 2017. Due to a surge in registrations coupled with increasing efficiencies prior to this date it is thought to have collected an £89 million surplus.
Chris Shaw, Director and Head of Lifetime Planning at JCP Solicitors, says: “It is important for people who feel they may be eligible to investigate this further by going to the relevant Government website".
“And I would encourage anyone who feels an LPA may be appropriate for them, or for a family member, to talk to a legal professional about it. LPAs are very valuable documents that save thousands of families heartache, time and potential legal difficulties.”
If you are eligible for a refund, the amount due for each LPA registered will depend upon when you paid the fee. So:
- April 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
Please note you will only be entitled to half the amount of the above refund if a reduced fee was paid at the time of registration, due to the Donor having an income of less than £12,000 a year, or being in receipt of certain state benefits.
If you used a Solicitor to draw up and register your LPA they may be able to guide you, but unfortunately, the application for the refund must be completed by either the Donor or the Attorney(s). However, the procedure is designed to be straight forward.
To find out more, please visit this Government website.
For further advice contact from our specialist Wills & Probate solicitors at JCP, contact us on:
- Swansea office: 01792 773773
- Cardiff office: 02920 225472
- Carmarthen office: 01267 234022
- Caerphilly office: 02920 860628
- Cowbridge office: 01446 771742
- Haverfordwest office: 01437 764723
- Fishguard office: 01348 873671
Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.