Why did applicants pay too much?
People were charged more than was necessary by the Office of the Public Guardian, to apply to register a lasting or enduring Power of Attorney, between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) sets the Office of the Public Guardian’s (OPG) fees and the Power of Attorney cost was set at £110.
However, during the four-year period highlighted, OPG’s operating costs came down as more applied to register a Power of Attorney. However, the application fee wasn’t reduced in line with this.
It was only from 1 April 2017 that the fee came down to £82.
The MoJ explains that OPG should not be making a profit or loss on the fees – the fees should cover the cost of delivering the service only, which can vary from year-to-year depending on the number of applications received.
How much can you claim?
The OPG will run the refund scheme:
- £54 if the fee was paid between April and September 2013
- £34 if the fee was paid between October 2013 and March 2014
- £37 if the fee was paid between April 2014 to March 2015
- £38 if the fee was paid between April 2015 and March 2016
- £45 if the fee was paid between April 2016 to March 2017.
Claims will also include 0.5% interest. If you paid a reduced – ‘remission’ fee, you will get half the refund amount.
How to claim a refund
It will take around 10 minutes to apply online for the Power of Attorney refund (have your bank account and sort code to hand, though you will need to claim by phone (on 0300 456 0300) if the donor doesn’t have a UK bank account, the donor has died or you’re a court-appointed deputy.
It can take up to 12 weeks for your claim to be processed and if it is approved, the refund will be paid to the donor’s bank account. If it is rejected, you can appeal by contacting the refunds helpline.
If this affects you and you need advice, call Liane at Western Wills today.