When an LPA is sent to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) for registration, a registration fee is payable. At the time of writing, this is £82 per document. However, certain donors may be entitled to apply for a reduced fee or even complete exemption from the fee due to their financial circumstances.
In order to claim an exemption or remission, an additional form (the LPA120A) must be filled in and sent with the LPAs to the OPG. Supporting evidence will also be required. If a donor is making both types of LPA, they will only need one LPA120A form however couples will need a form each.
The exemption and remission will also apply relating to registering an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA), a repeat LPA application but not when applying for an office copy/certified copy of a registered LPA or EPA.
100% Fee Exemption
The donor will be entitled to a total exemption from the OPG’s registration fee if they receive any of the following means tested benefits:
- Income Support
- Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Guarantee Credit element of State Pension
- Housing Benefit
- Council Tax Reduction/Support – this is also known by other names. The 25% single person discount or the Class U exemption does not apply here.
- Local Housing Allowance
- A combination of Working Tax Credit and at least one of the following:
- Child Tax Credit
- Disability Element of Working Tax Credit
- Severe Disability Element of Working Tax Credit
Please note that Disability Living Allowance, Invalidity Benefit and Personal Independence Payment are not included.
The exception to this is where the donor has been awarded personal injury damages of more than £16,000 that were ignored when they were assessed for the benefits. If they have received more than this, they will not be eligible for the fee exemption.
To support the application, the donor will need to send copies of letters from the benefit provider that confirms the donor received at least one of the above benefits at the time they applied to register the LPA, confirms that the benefit was being paid to the donor and includes the donor’s title, full name, address and postcode.
50% Fee Remission – Based on Income
If the donor receives a gross annual income of less than £12,000, they may be eligible for a 50% reduction of the OPG’s registration fee. In such a case, they would only need to pay £41 per document.
This income may come from a variety of sources such as employment, non-means-tested benefits, pensions, Pensions Savings Credit, interest from savings or investments and rent.
To support the application, evidence of the donor’s gross annual income would need to be sent with the application. Evidence must relate to the time that the application was sent to the OPG for registration and can be:
- A P60 or 3 months consecutive wage slips from the donor’s current employment.
- A copy of an official letter or notice from a non-means-tested benefit provider or pension provider.
- Statements or vouchers showing gross income from investments
- If the donor is self-employed, the donor’s most recent self-assessment tax return and HMRC tax calculation, or audited account certified by a qualified accountant will be sufficient.
Bank statements are not acceptable evidence.
If the donor receives no income, they must instead send a signed statement explaining how they support themselves. If the donor no longer has capacity at the time of the application, this statement could instead be made and signed by an attorney or a solicitor.
50% Fee Remission – Based on Universal Credit
If the donor receives Universal Credit, they may apply for a 50% fee remission.
To support this application, copies of letters showing the donor received Universal Credit at the time of the application must be supplied. The letter must confirm that Universal Credit was being paid to the donor and include their title, full name, address and postcode.
If none of the above apply, the donor could still apply to have the fees waived if paying the fees would cause them hardship. The OPG’s example of hardship is if paying the fee would mean that the donor could not meet their normal living costs.
To claim hardship, the donor must write a letter to the OPG explaining why the payment of fees would cause hardship. Bank statements and other documents showing all savings, income and outgoings should be included.