Thursday, 15 February 2018
Under a new Government scheme, if you paid to register a Lasting Power of Attorney in England and Wales between 1st April 2013 and 31st March 2017, you could be entitled to a refund of up to £54.
Those who paid a registration fee for a Lasting Power of Attorney in that period can apply for a partial refund as they were charged more than was necessary.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that, once registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, grants permission to your appointed attorney such as a trusted friend or relative, to make decisions in your best interest on your behalf.
There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney:
Property and Financial Affairs.
This document will allow your attorney to make decisions on your behalf concerning the management of your bank accounts, payment or management of benefits and/or pensions, and if necessary deal with any property you may have. This document can be registered to come into effect immediately or a restriction can be placed into the document preventing it from being used until a medical professional has certified that you no longer have capacity to make decisions for yourself. You can also include guidance and conditions in the document that your attorneys must bear in mind when making decisions for you.
Health and Welfare Decisions.
This document will allow your attorneys to make decisions regarding life sustaining treatment, where you should live and what care you should receive. Unlike the Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney, the Personal Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney cannot be used until it has been proven that you lack capacity to make these decisions for yourself, and only then will your attorneys be asked to make the decisions on your behalf. Guidance and conditions can be placed into this document for your attorneys to consider, for example, you may not wish to be given a blood transfusion or to be kept alive on a ventilator.
The Ministry of Justice sets the Office of the Public Guardian fees, and during 1st April 2013 and 31st March 2017, the operating costs came down as more people applied to register a Lasting Power of Attorney and the process became more efficient. However, the application fee charged (£110) was not reduced in line with this and the reduced fee (£82) did not come into effect until the 1st April 2017.
How much can I claim?
How much you get depends on when you paid the fees and if you paid a fee remission ie, a reduced fee, you will be entitled to half the refund.
|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|
You’ll also get 0.5% interest, and currently, there is no deadline by which you must apply.
You can make a claim if you were the donor (the person who made the Lasting Power of Attorney) or the Attorney (the person appointed by the Donor), however, the refund will be paid to the Donor.
Making a claim is quick and simple using the online service (www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney-refund) of you can contact the Office of the Public Guardian’s helpline on 0300 456 0300 and select option 6 to be put through to the refunds team.
If you are interested in making a Lasting Power of Attorney, please feel free to contact Helen Green firstname.lastname@example.org or Faye Scotter email@example.com telephone 01675 464400 / 0121 770 1721.