The Ministry of Justice announce refunds…

…For LPAs registered from 2013

Refunds annouced by the Ministry of Justice for Lasting Powers of Attorney

Last week the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) announced that it was looking into making refunds for people who registered an LPA from 2013. When the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) was created about 10 years ago there was a requirement that it should only cover its costs and not make a profit. The MoJ has completed analysis which shows that the OPG has exceeded its costs for a while. This was the reason behind the reduction in LPA registration fees when they dropped from £110 to £82 on 1st April this year. However, the MoJ has now gone further and announced that it will arrange for refunds for LPAs registered (probably from) April 2013, and best estimates say the refunds will amount to about a further £89 Million.

As the reduction in April was £28 per document then that might well be the amount they are looking at repaying now, but it has not yet announced how much each refund will be, nor yet said when they expect to pay this, but we will try to keep you informed of further information as soon as we know it.

If the OPG follows the same system as it followed for the April refunds then it will automatically credit the account from which the registration fee was first paid. So, if you used a personal cheque to pay the fee you can expect the refund to be made to that same account. If we paid the fee on your behalf then the refund will be paid to us and we will forward it on. However, there were some difficulties encountered in April and it is to be hoped that the MoJ/OPG will have learned from that and so follow a better payment system. For example, as yet the MoJ/OPG has not explained how it will deal with refunds for people who have died since 2013 and whose bank accounts will have closed.

For further information and advice on Lasting Powers of Attorneys, Wills and Trusts please contact our Wills, Trusts & Probate Team on 01733 882800 or email info@hcsolicitors.co.uk.

Author

Paddy Appleton, Partner

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This article has been prepared for general interest and information purposes only; it does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. While all possible care has been taken in the preparation of this article, no responsibility for the accuracy and/or correctness of the information and commentary set out in the article, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed or accepted by the firm or the authors.