Individuals who applied for a lasting power of attorney (LPA) between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017 can now claim a partial refund of up to £108 after they were overcharged.
A lasting power of attorney document enables you to appoint trusted individuals to make decisions on your behalf if you lose the ability to do so. An LPA covering property and financial affairs enables them to do things including paying bills and managing your bank accounts on your behalf. A health and welfare LPA allows them to make decisions regarding issues such as your care and medical treatment.
But between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017 the application process became more efficient and cost savings made by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) were not passed on to consumers in the form of lower fees.
Ben Tyer, a private client solicitor at GLP Solicitors explains: “The Office of the Public Guardian for England and Wales – the public body that records lasting powers of attorney - is only supposed to charge fees so as to recover its operational costs. Yet up until April 2017 it charged a £110 fee to register an LPA and due to a surge in registrations coupled with increasing efficiencies it is estimated to have collected in an £89 million surplus. As a result, those who applied to register their LPAs since 2013 paid too much and are entitled to a partial refund.”
He adds: “The OPG reduced the fees for applying to register LPAs (and enduring power of attorneys) from £110 to £82 in April 2017. And it aims to increase the number of people making LPAs next year so it is a possibility the fee could come down further.”
How much can I claim?
You can claim for both types of LPA, meaning a refund of up to £108 may be due for some. However, the amount that can be claimed will depend on when the application was made. See the table below for the full details.
|When you paid the fee||Refund for each power of attorney|
|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|
Source: Gov.uk, February 2018.
How to claim
Claims can be made easily using an online claim form on Gov.uk. These can be made by the donor who set up the lasting power of attorney or any attorney appointed by the donor.
The online form takes around 10 minutes to complete and you will need to provide details of the donor’s bank account number and sort code.
If the donor doesn’t have a bank account, has died or you are a court appointed deputy you will need to call the refunds claim line on 0300 456 0300 (choose option 6). Claims will take up to 12 weeks to be paid.
Mr Tyer adds: “Planning for lack of capacity with an LPA is as important as planning for death with a will. LPAs are a vital tool for families to avoid frustration and distress so it can only be positive if they are made more affordable.”
No you don't have to re-do your LPA, this issue only concerns the fee you were charged to set it up.
Hi - this refund only applies to LPAs registered in England and Wales. There is a different fee charging structure in Scotland and Northern Ireland and no evidence that applicants there have been overcharged.