Power of Attorney Refund Scheme - Are You Eligible To Claim?
- AuthorNicola Dalzell
You may have heard the recent announcement that the Office of the Public Guardian (‘OPG’) is issuing partial refunds to those who have applied to register a Lasting or Enduring Power of Attorney in the past four years. If you have registered a Power of Attorney in the last four years and would like to know if you’re eligible to claim a refund then you can check the guidance on the government website here: https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney-refund to see if you meet the eligibility criteria and the process for making a claim.
Up until 1 April 2017 the OPG charged a registration fee, for Lasting and Enduring Powers of Attorney, of £110 per document. However, due to a vast increase in the number of registrations processed by the OPG in recent years, the system had become more efficient meaning their costs came down significantly. Unfortunately, this was not reflected in the fees charged by the OPG and their registration fee remained at £110.
The OPG eventually recognised this error and, on 1 April 2017, they announced that the registration fee will be reduced to £82 per document.
The Ministry of Justice has now launched a scheme to refund those who, unnecessarily, paid the higher fee during the “qualifying period”.
So, you’re probably wondering, how can you get your money back?
Well, you can apply for a partial refund if you applied to register a Lasting or Enduring Power of Attorney between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017. This is known as the “qualifying period”. Only you (the donor) or your attorney can apply online. If your solicitor is your attorney, then you can ask them to make the claim on your behalf.
You should note that only a “partial” refund is being offered and the amount you will receive depends on when you applied to register your powers of attorney. Only one claim per person is necessary, even if you made more than one power of attorney, as the OPG will locate all application fees paid by you during the qualifying period and refund you accordingly.
Here is a guide on what you can expect to receive:
When you paid the fee
Refund for each power of attorney
April to September 2013
October 2013 to March 2014
April 2014 to March 2015
April 2015 to March 2016
April 2016 to March 2017
You can claim your refund using the following methods:-
- Online - The application takes around 10 minutes to complete and you’ll just need your bank account number and sort code to hand – you can use the link in this article to access the online form
- By telephone – if you don’t have access to a computer, you can call the OPG refunds helpline on 0300 456 0300 (option 6).
You must make the claim by telephone if you are applying as an attorney on behalf of a donor who has passed away
The claim procedure is relatively straight forward, however, it may take up to twelve weeks for the OPG to process your claim and issue your refund.
Whilst, we cannot assist you with this procedure we thought we would outline the simple steps you need to take to make a claim.
This article was written and prepared by Laura Fairlie who is a Legal Assistant in our Probate Team headed by Nicola Dalzell.