Jennifer Charlton a Senior Associate in our Private Client team in London and a fully accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE), is urging people to check their eligibility for a lasting power of attorney (LPA) fee refund, after almost two million people were overcharged by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) between 2013 and 2017. Claimants can expect to receive a refund of up to £54, with any accrued interested since the registration was made.
SFE have been encouraging their professional members to get in touch with clients to remind them about the possibility of a refund and to explain how easy it is to make a claim. According to them, so far, only 200,000 of the 1.8million people owed have claimed their refund, meaning that there’s £77million still owed to customers.
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 1st February 2021.
Lakshmi Turner, Chief Executive of SFE, said:
“Whilst 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.”
Jennifer Charlton of DMH Stallard said:
“Unfortunately, we cannot make a claim on behalf of clients but it does not take long to claim online yourself. You will need your bank details (or the details of the donor if you are claiming on their behalf) and a copy of the LPA, if you have it. If you need help or more information about making a claim, there is a Refunds Helpline you can contact, either via telephone on 0300 456 0300 or email email@example.com.”
An LPA is an important document that gives a loved one the power to make decisions on your behalf when you can no longer do so. There are two types of LPA: a health and welfare LPA, and a property and financial affairs LPA.
Recent research from SFE found that there are only 7% of LPAs in place across the UK, meaning that millions of people are currently unprepared for later life. SFE urges anyone planning for their future to consider setting up an LPA and seek advice from a suitably qualified professional.
If you have any questions about LPAs or why you might need one please contact Jennifer Charlton on 020 7822 1615 or firstname.lastname@example.org.