The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has launched a refund scheme for those who may have been overcharged for power of attorney arrangements.
Individuals who paid a registration fee for a lasting power of attorney between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017 may be entitled to a partial refund of up to £54, the MoJ stated.
During this period, the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) charged £110 to set up a lasting power of attorney. However, from April 2017, the fee was reduced to £82. As a result, an estimated 1.8 million people paid a higher fee than was necessary.
Commenting on the issue, Ben Tyer, Elderly Law Specialist at GLP Solicitors, said that the government ‘aims to increase the number of people making registrations next year’, adding that the fee could be reduced again in the future.
He said: ‘Planning for lack of capacity with a power of attorney is as important as planning for death with a Will. They are a vital tool for families to avoid frustration and distress, so it can only be positive if they are made more affordable.’
The MoJ said that making a claim is ‘quick and simple’ using its online service, with only one form needing to be completed.
Individuals who believe they may be eligible for a refund are urged to visit www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney-refund for details on how to make a claim.