OPG launches Lasting Power of Attorney refund scheme
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has launched a refund scheme to benefit those thought to have ‘overpaid’ when applying for a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).
The news comes shortly after the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) revealed that those applying for the vital legal documents had been overcharged for their application fees for a period of more than four years.
It is thought that anyone who applied for either an LPA or an Enduring Power of Attorney between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017 are now entitled to claim a partial refund.
A report in consumer magazine Which? estimates that almost two million people in the UK might be eligible for such refunds, due to the fact that the OPG previously failed to pass on a reduction in its operating costs to consumers during the period.
The cost of applications was initially £110 – but this amount was reduced to just £82 on 1 April 2017.
Which? has said that consumers should keep in mind that only donors – i.e. the person who initially paid for the LPA application – will receive a refund, and not those who were appointed as an attorney.
An LPA is an important legal document which can prove incredibly beneficial in instances where a family member or loved-one has lost mental capacity and is deemed unable to make important financial or care decisions for themselves.
Such documents can give authority to an appropriate friend or family member to act as the person’s attorney and make important decisions on their behalf.
It is estimated that a worrying 44 million UK adults either do not have an LPA, or have never considered the importance of one.