We have mentioned power of attorney registration fee refunds before, but with two of our clients recently being successful in getting money returned to them, we think that it’s worth highlighting it again. Here are a few more details about this scheme, together with information on how you can find out whether you are entitled to a refund.
Between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017, the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) generated a surplus of £89m from Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) fee overpayments. This happened because the OPG’s operating costs were reduced, but LPA application fees weren’t altered to reflect that reduction. 1.8 million people are estimated to have been affected by the overpayment and if you fall into that category, you can make a claim.
You can make a claim whether you are the donor (the person who made the power of attorney) or the attorney (appointed by the donor to make decisions on the donor’s behalf). The refund, however, will always be paid to the donor. How much you receive will depend on when you paid the fees, but all successful claimants will get 0.5% interest on top of their refunded fee.
- If you paid the fee April to September 2013, you will receive £54
- If you paid the fee October 2013 to March 2014, you will receive £34
- If you paid the fee April 2014 to March 2015, you will receive £37
- If you paid the fee April 2015 to March 2016, you will receive £38
- If you paid the fee April 2016 to March 2017, you will receive £45
If you don’t know the exact date you paid your LPA fees, you can still make a claim and as long as records show that your application was made within the correct timeframe, it should be successful. If you want to make a claim it’s simple and can be done online by completing the office form (https://claim-power-of-attorney-refund.service.gov.uk/start) which should take no longer than ten minutes. All you’ll need is the UK bank account number and sort code of the donor.
If the donor doesn’t have a UK bank account, or has died, you will need to claim by phone. You will also need to claim by phone if you’re a court appointed deputy, or you have a trust organisation as the attorney. Alternatively contact the refunds helpline on 0300 456 0300.
After you’ve claimed, it takes up to 12 weeks for your claim to be processed and if your claim is approved the refund will be paid directly into your bank account.