Powers of Attorney – registration fee refund scheme
If you registered a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) or an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017 you are eligible for a refund of part of the registration fee from the Office of the Public Guardian (the OPG).
By law, the OPG is not allowed to make a profit from the registration of LPAs or EPAs. In recent years the number of LPAs and EPAs being registered has been higher than expected, leading to increased efficiencies, and registration fees have more than covered the OPG's costs. Although the OPG has been reducing the registration fees over the past few years, there is still a four year period during which the fees charged have been judged too high and so a refund scheme has been launched.
The scheme allows donors or attorneys to claim a refund for the amount they overpaid when registering the LPA or EPA, provided registration took place between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017. The exact amount of the refund varies depending on the date of registration. For example for LPAs registered between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017 the refund is £45 per LPA plus interest at 0.5% per year. So if you are a couple who each made Property and Financial Affairs LPAs as well as Health and Welfare LPAs you would receive a total refund of £180 plus interest.
It takes around ten minutes to apply for the refund using the OPG's online refund service. Alternatively you can apply by telephoning the OPG on 0300 456 0300 option 6. If you are actively acting as someone's attorney, you should apply for the refund on their behalf (which will be paid to their bank account). If you are an executor for someone who has died you should apply for a refund to be paid to their estate and you should telephone the number above.
As part of our commitment to providing excellent client care we are reviewing our records and will be writing to clients whom we believe are eligible for a refund. However there is no need to wait for us to write to you; you can check your copy of your LPA or EPA and apply for the refund yourself. The refund process is straightforward so we are not anticipating that we would need to assist you, however if you do have any questions about the refund process, please telephone Pete Black on 0191 279 9123.
If you have any questions about powers of attorney more generally then please get in touch with the person who usually deals with your work.