If you set up a lasting power of attorney (LPA) in the last few years you may be eligible for a fee refund.
Jones & Co Solicitors is advising people that they may have been overcharged by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) between 2013 and 2017 if they set up an LPA in that time.
An LPA gives a family member or other trusted person the power to make decisions on a person’s behalf if they become no longer able to do so.
Philip Armstrong, Wills, Trust and Probate Partner at Jones & Co, said: “Almost two million people in the UK were overcharged by the OPG and are now entitled to a fee refund. So far, only 200,000 of the 1.8 million people owed have claimed their refund, meaning that there’s £77 million still owed to customers. Claimants can expect to receive a refund of up to £54, plus any accrued interested since the registration was made.”
To apply for a refund visit: http://gov.uk/power-of-attorney-refund. The exact amount will depend on when the registration was made, and claims must be made by 1 February 2021.
Recent research from Solicitors for the Elderly found that there are only 7% of LPAs in place across the UK, meaning that millions of people are currently unprepared for later life. Solicitors for the Elderly urges anyone planning for their future to consider setting up an LPA and seek advice from a specialist lawyer.
Lakshmi Turner, Chief Executive of Solicitors for the Elderly, said: “While it’s comforting to know that people are making provisions by putting in place LPAs, millions of families, many of whom may have been going through a tough time with elderly relatives, will have been needlessly overcharged.
“It’s good to see the OPG addressing the error, and with the deadline for applications approaching, we’re urging people to check their eligibility for a refund soon.”
Philip said: “It takes about ten minutes to claim online. People will need the donor’s bank details and a copy of the LPA, if they have it. Anyone who needs help or information about making a claim, there’s a Refunds Helpline they can contact, by phoning 0300 456 0300 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.”