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Reminder: Office of the Public Guardian Refund Scheme

Reminder: Office of the Public Guardian Refund Scheme

It has been over six months since the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) announced their power of attorney refund scheme. Recent evidence however shows that only around 15% of those entitled to a refund have applied to the OPG.

Due to this, we would like to put out a reminder about the scheme and how clients can apply for a refund. Please note that WillPack is not able to assist with applying for refund. Only the donor, attorney or personal representatives (if the donor is deceased) can apply.

Overview

Between the period of 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017, the operating costs of the OPG were reduced as their process became more efficient. The OPG’s application fee remained the same and as a result the OPG generated a surplus.

The exact amount refundable depends when the power of attorney was registered at the OPG.

  • Registered April to September 2013: £54 per LPA
  • Registered October 2013 to March 2014 : £34 per LPA
  • Registered April 2014 to March 2015: £37 per LPA
  • Registered April 2015 to March 2016: £38 per LPA
  • Registered April 2016 to March 2017: £45 per LPA

Given that married couples often registered four LPAs between them, a couple could potentially be entitled to a refund of £216 if they registered their LPAs between April and September 2013.

All the refunds are plus 0.5% interest and only half of the amount will be due if a fee remission was claimed.

The refund can only be repaid to the donor, or their estate if the donor has died, regardless of who paid the fees.

Only one claim needs to be made per donor. The OPG will then be able to find all power of attorney application fees paid by the donor that are eligible.

All refunds must be claimed by 1 February 2021.

How to Claim – Donor is alive

If the donor is alive, either the donor or the attorneys can apply to claim the refund. A replacement attorney may also apply if they have formally replaced an attorney.

A refund can be claimed online using the link at the end of this article. All the donor or attorney will need is the donor’s UK bank details and a copy of the LPA.

A claim can also be made by phone. A phone claim must be made where:

  • the donor doesn’t have a UK bank account
  • a deputy is applying for remission on behalf of a donor who previously had a registered LPA or EPA
  • A trust corporation is named as an attorney

It takes up to 12 weeks for a claim to be processed. If the claim is approved, the refund will be paid to the donor’s bank account.

How to Claim – Donor has died

If the donor has died, only the personal representatives of the donor can apply for the refund. The personal representatives can apply by either emailing or posting the Refunds Team the following:

  • A copy of the donor’s death certificate
  • A copy of the donor’s will or the grant of representation (i.e. a grant of probate or letters of administration).
  • The name, contact number, email address and postal address of the person applying
  • The donor’s name
  • The case reference number of the LPAs (if known)

The Refund Team will phone the personal representative when they have received the documents to complete the refund.

For more information on the Refund Scheme, please see the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney-refund

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