If you registered a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) or Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017 at the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), you are now able to apply for a refund of part of your application fee.
The OPG is only supposed to charge fees to cover its operating costs, but it turns out that it has been overcharging people. This has happened partly because it has been able to find efficiencies in its running costs, but also because of the volume of applications it has handled - around 650,000 last year alone - as a result of which it has racked up a surplus of £89 million.
This amount needs to be returned to applicants.
In 2017 the fee of £110 to register a Power of Attorney was reduced to £82, and if you paid the higher rate you are entitled to a refund. The amount you can claim depends on when the Power was completed, and the details are shown below. You must claim your refund by 31 January 2021.
Who can claim a refund?
You can make a claim if you’re:
the ‘donor’ - the person who made the power of attorney;
an ‘attorney’ - appointed by the donor in an LPA or EPA to make decisions on their behalf;
A replacement attorney can only claim if they have been formally appointed as an attorney and are now able to make decisions on the donor’s behalf.
The refund must be paid to the donor.
How do you apply for a refund?
You can claim online at: https://claim-power-of-attorney-refund.service.gov.uk/start.
Before you claim you will need:
the donor’s UK bank details;
the donor’s full name and date of birth and current address;
a copy of the LPA or EPA if you have it.
There is an email helpline at email@example.com
Alternatively you can contact the Refunds Helpline on 0300 456 0300 (then choose option 6). The helpline is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9am to 5pm and on Wednesday from 10am to 5pm.
If you do not have a UK bank account number or the donor has died, then you will also need to use the telephone service.
You do not need to make a claim for every POA you registered, just one per donor and the OPG will find all the applications that were made in that period.
How much will be refunded?
The table below shows the amount of refunds applicable to the period of time in which the registration was completed. In addition to the figures shown in the table, 0.5% interest will be added to the refund.
When you paid the fee Refund amount for each power of attorney
April 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
How long will refunds take to be processed?
Your claim will be processed within 12 weeks. If approved, the refund will be paid directly into the donor’s bank account. If you wish to appeal a rejected claim you can contact the Refunds Helpline.
What if the donor has died?
Only the executor of the will or administrator of the estate can claim a refund. Before making a claim, you need to send the Power of Attorney (POA) Refunds Team photocopies of both the:
will or the grant of representation (for example, a grant of probate or letters of administration).
You should also include:
the donor’s name and case reference number (if known).
You can email the documents to firstname.lastname@example.org, or send them to
POA Refunds Team 7th Floor, Office of the Public Guardian PO Box 16185 Birmingham B2 2WH
When the POA Refunds Team have received your documents, they will phone you to complete your refund.
Claiming your refund is pretty straightforward, but if you're one of our clients and we've helped you set up a Power of Attorney for yourself or someone else, we'll be happy to help if needed. Just email email@example.com and we'll get on to it for you.
And if you need help setting up a new Power of Attorney, or changing an existing one, we have an expert team who can help. It just takes a call to get started!