The Power of Attorney Refund Scheme

Since the news first hit the headlines it has all gone quiet in the media about the Refund Scheme, however, if you’ve not yet applied there is still time and with the nights drawing in many of us will be turning our attention to sorting out those jobs we’ve been putting off.  The Refund scheme will run until 1st February 2021 so there is still plenty of time to apply.

The Background

The Ministry of Justice is responsible for setting the fees for the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), the public body that looks after registration of Powers of Attorney.  A recent review concluded that increases in the OPG’s efficiency meant that the fee being charged was higher than the operational cost incurred.  A refund scheme was launched on 1st February 2018 and is being run by the OPG to compensate anyone who paid a fee to register a Power of Attorney between 1st April 2013 and 31st March 2017.  After the 31st March 2017 the registration fee was reduced from £110 to £82 in line with the recommendations of the review.

Did you or someone you know register a Power of Attorney between 1st April 2013 and 31st March 2017?

This could have been an Enduring Power of Attorney or the more recent type of document known as a Lasting Powers of Attorney.  It is understood that 1.7 million registrations were processed in this qualifying period.

Who can claim?

You can make a claim if you are the Donor (the person who granted the Power of Attorney) or as the Attorney on behalf of the Donor.  If the Donor has since passed away, the Personal Representatives (Executors) can make the claim on behalf of the estate.  A Court appointed Deputy can also make a claim on behalf of the Donor.  You only need to make one claim per Donor even if they registered more than one Power of Attorney in the qualifying period.

Do you qualify for a refund?

You need to check the date you paid the registration fee.  If this falls within the above qualifying period then you will be entitled to claim a refund.  If you paid a reduced fee then you will receive half the refund.  If you are unsure of the date you paid the fee contact your Solicitor or the Office of the Public Guardian who will be able to advise.   If we assisted you with your Powers of Attorney our Private Client team are on hand to offer help and advice on 01539 723757.

The refund for each power of attorney will vary depending on when the fee was paid within the qualifying period:

Registration fee paid Refund amount per Power of Attorney
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

What do I need? 

  • The donor’s bank account details; the account number and sort code
  • A copy of the LPA (if available)

You can make a claim online here https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney-refund this will take around 10 minutes or you can make a claim by telephoning 0345 456 0300 and selecting option 6.  If you are claiming as Deputy or Personal Representative you will need to make the claim by telephone. You will also need to claim by telephone if the donor does not have a UK bank account.

When will the refund be paid?

The claim should be processed within 12 weeks and if your claim is successful the donor will also receive interest at 0.05%.

If you haven’t yet registered your Powers of Attorney or don’t yet have them and want to discuss the benefits of having Powers of Attorney in place, either for yourself or someone you care for, please contact us today on 01539 723757 to arrange your no-obligation consultation.