People who registered a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) or Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017 could be in line for a reimbursement after the Ministry of Justice has been forced to offer refunds.
Coventry solicitors Band Hatton Button are spreading the word regarding the news after The Office of the Public Guardian – a government agency which registers LPA and EPA applications – saw its fee income exceed its operating costs between 2013 and 2017, despite not being allowed to make a profit, and as such a refund process has been brought in.
An LPA or EPA is where an individual appoints another person on their behalf to manage their affairs for them in the event that they are no longer able to do so themselves.
The refund amount depends on when the LPA or EPA was registered. These are: April 2013 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).
In April 2017, the application fee for registration was reduced from £110 to £82 to prevent the Office of the Public Guardian making a profit.
Michelle Gavin, Head of Wills, Trusts and Probate at Band Hatton Button, said: “The initial cause of this overcharging is actually a positive sign.
“This is because more people are proactively applying for LPAs or EPAs, which means the Office of the Public Guardian is spending less time and money on helping vulnerable individuals who did not register an LPA or EPA.
“The benefit of proactively registering an LPA or EPA is two-fold. Firstly, you will have the peace of mind about what will happen to your assets once you are no longer here. Secondly, the more people who are applying for LPAs or EPAs, the lower the registration fee will become if less time is spent on advising those who haven’t.”
To claim a refund on an LPA or EPA, visit www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney-refund