About 1.8m people in England and Wales who may have been overcharged for registering a Lasting Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney document can now claim a refund of up to £54.
The Ministry of Justice is only supposed to charge registration fees that are enough to cover the cost of providing the service.
But those who registered between April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2017 were charged £110 even though running costs for the Office of the Public Guardian fell. The Government is paying back some of the cash, since applications now only cost £82.
The refund amount depends on when the fee was paid. It ranges from £34 to £54, which includes a 0.5% interest payment.
Some people on low incomes are eligible for a reduced registration fee. Those who paid a reduced fee will be able to claim half of the refund otherwise due.
Claims can be made online at https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney-refund or by phone on 0300 456 0300, choosing option 6. Claims on behalf of someone who has died can only be made by phone. You will need the donor’s UK bank account number and sort code and claims must be made by January 31, 2021.
Only one claim per donor is needed, even if more than one power of attorney was made.
Paula Steele, managing partner at John Lamb Financial Planning, says: “The refunds could be due to as many as 1.8 million people. But the money won’t be paid automatically, claims need to be registered. It should only take 10 minutes to make a claim and it should be paid within 12 weeks.”
Applications for power of attorney have soared in recent years, with 2.5million registered in England and Wales in the past decade.