Rebecca Stringfellow of Dootsons 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 interested 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 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 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.”
Rebecca Stringfellow 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 email@example.com.”
If you need assistance, speak to Rebecca Stringfellow, your local SFE lawyer.
SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly) is an independent, national organisation of over 1,600 lawyers, such as solicitors, barristers, and chartered legal executives, who provide specialist legal advice for older and vulnerable people, their families and carers.
The main areas of law members cover are:
- Powers of Attorney
- Making a Will
- Living Wills/Advance decisions
- Tax planning
- Asset preservation
- Will disputes
- Court of Protection
- Elder abuse