It is not often that the government gives money back, but if you made a power of attorney within the last five years, you could be entitled to a partial refund for the cost of your application fee.
A power of attorney is a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf.
Registering a power of attorney incurs a fee, and now the government has decided to reimburse part of this fee, if you meet certain criteria.
The refund is available if:
The refund applies both to lasting powers of attorney (LPA) and enduring powers of attorney (EPA).
You can claim for the refund if you are either the ‘donor’ – the person who made the power of attorney; or an ‘attorney’ – appointed by the donor to make decisions on their behalf.
You need make only one claim per donor, even if more than one power of attorney was drawn up.
If you were appointed as a replacement attorney, you can only claim when you’ve been formally appointed as an attorney and are now able to make decisions on the donor’s behalf.
The refund must be paid to the donor and the claim must be made by 31 January 2021.
The amount of refund depends on when you paid the fee. The refunds range from £34 to £54, and in addition you will also get 0.5% interest
Claims can be made online via the government’s website and the process takes about ten minutes.
The refunds are being offered because the operating costs of the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) came down as more people applied to register a power of attorney and the process became more efficient, but the application fee charged was not reduced in line with this.
The Ministry of Justice, which sets the OPG’s fees, reduced the application fee with effect from 1 April 2017, and has now launched a refund scheme for those who paid a higher fee in the qualifying period.
The wills and probate team here at Optimum Professional Services think this is very good news. The offer of this refund, coupled with the now reduced fee of £82 – where once it was £130 – will encourage more people to consider drawing up this very important document.