Sarah Cornish of Coodes Solicitors, 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 interest since the registration was made.
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.
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 Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) found that only 7% of people have 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 specialist lawyer.
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.”
Sarah Cornish, Partner in the Wills, Probate and Trusts team at Coodes Solicitors, said: “It takes about ten minutes to claim online. You’ll need the donor’s bank details and a copy of the LPA, if you have it. If you need help or more information about making a claim, there’s a Refunds Helpline you can contact, either via telephone on 0300 456 0300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“If you do not yet have an LPA, it is worth considering putting this in place. Having an LPA means the person – or people – of your choice can make important decisions on your behalf should you become unable to do so in future. Getting advice about your LPA from an experienced lawyer is the best way to give you peace of mind for the future.”
If you need assistance, speak to your local SFE lawyer. To find an SFE accredited lawyer near you go to: http://www.sfe.legal