9 February 2018 by Olivia Llewellyn

Lasting Powers of Attorney – refunds all round

Rarely does our government offer to refund money it has collected in fees. However, this happened last week in relation to fees paid for registering a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).

By way of a quick reminder, LPAs are documents which allow you, ‘the donor’, to appoint someone else, known as your ‘attorney’, to make decisions on your behalf about your finances and health if in the future you were to lose mental capacity.

Once the LPAs have been signed by all necessary parties, they must be sent to the Office of the Public Guardian (a government body) to be registered. This registration process takes approximately 3 months to complete. Although it is not a requirement that LPAs are registered immediately after being signed, it is advisable that they are so as to ensure that they have been signed correctly and are ready to be used without delay in the case of an emergency.

The LPA registration fee did rise last year to £110 but was subsequently reduced to the current fee of £82 for each LPA. However, the income generated from the fees is not supposed to exceed the costs of providing the service. Because approximately 2.5m LPA’s have been registered in the last 10 years, the government was found to be making a profit from the fees and had to act.

Last week, the government announced that anyone who registered an LPA between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017 would be entitled to a part refund of the registration fee. Accordingly, refunds are now being paid out. The refunds must be paid to the donor.

The amount of the available refund varies depending upon when the LPA was registered but ranges from between £34 to £54. If, as is often the case, a couple made and registered both a health and welfare and a financial LPA then that could lead to a refund of £216!

Claims for refunds can be made online and take approximately 10 mins to complete. Please visit the following link to make the claim here: Alternatively you can claim by phone by calling 0300 456 0300 and choosing option 6.

If you require assistance or indeed would like to make an LPA please contact our Wealth and Estate Planning team or email at WEP@boltburdon.co.uk.

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