Just one in 10 people eligible for a Power of Attorney refund has claimed, according to a mutual insurer Royal London.
The firm obtained the figures via Freedom of Information (FOI) request from the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) show that of 1.9 million people eligible for a refund, just 203,000 had claimed up to 28 August this year.
Moneywise has spoken to the OPG and it says over £11.8 million has now been refunded through 187,405 payments – an average of £62 each.
Refunds are owed to those who paid for a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) between April 2013 and March 2017.
This is because in this time period the OPG reduced its operating costs and became more efficient, but failed to reduce the fees until April 2017.
|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: Royal London, November 2018
Helen Morrissey, spokesperson at Royal London, comments: “The refund option has been available for some time now and, as yet, only a small proportion of people have submitted a claim. The onus really is on the government to sort it out.
"They should be contacting people who have not yet claimed a refund to make sure they get their money back.”
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.
The refund scheme, opened in February 2018, has three years left to run.