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The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) launched a refund scheme earlier this year for Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) registered between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017. If this applies to you, you might be eligible for a refund from the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).
During the period 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2017, the OPG acknowledge that operating costs came down, as more people applied to register an LPA. As a result, the process became much more efficient, but the fees charged were not reduced in line with the newer streamlined processes.
The fees were adjusted from 1 April 2017, so if you have registered an LPA since then you will not apply. However, the MOJ has now launched a full scale investigation for those who paid a higher fee in the qualifying period.
To give you some idea, as at the end of August, there have been 158,212 claims made for refunds. However, it is believed there could be well over a million potential refunds due and therefore, a significant number of people are yet to make a claim.
Donors and attorneys can make the application through the online process and court appointed deputies or executors need to contact the OPG helpline. You can also find more information here: https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney-refund.
Whilst we are on the topic of LPAs, it is worth reminding ourselves of the responsibilities associated with acting as an attorney. Make sure you understand what it is you are required to do as an LPA and make sure you stay on the right side of the law at all times. You can read more about this in a previous blog here.
Always make sure you consult with those in the know and take extra care to avoid any family disputes. Downs Solicitors can help and can offer advice relating to a number of areas relating to family law, including wills and probate, LPAs and trusts and estate planning. Contact us for more information