Tricia Longmore of QS Large and Gibson in Southsea 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 £54.00, 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.
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.”
Tricia Longmore 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 by telephone on 0300 456 0300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?
An LPA is a powerful legal document, which allows a person (or ‘donor’) to choose one or more individuals (known as attorneys) to handle their affairs in the event that they are no longer able to do so themselves, for example if they lose mental capacity. Attorneys are usually trusted family members or friends, but people can also select a legal professional as their attorney.
An LPA must be put in place while a person has the mental capacity to do so. It’s important to plan ahead and get your wishes down on paper as early as possible to ensure that whoever you choose to manage your affairs can retain control, should you lose capacity.
There are two types of LPA:
- A health & welfare LPA (H&W LPA) and;
- a property & financial affairs LPA (P&F LPA)
The former covers things like choices around care plans, medical treatment and end of life wishes. The latter deals with the management of property, other assets, bank accounts and bill payments.
Recent research from SFE found that there are millions of people across the UK who 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.
For more information on Lasting Powers of Attorney please contact our Private Client team on 02392 296296