Elderly and vulnerable people who applied for loved ones to look after their financial affairs could be owed millions of pounds.

Ministry of Justice has invited hundreds of thousands of individuals to apply for refunds after its Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) overcharged for Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) arrangements between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017.

A Ministry of Justice announcement issued on 2 February explains that refunds of up to £54 a time plus interest can now be claimed for each LPA registration made in that four-year period. The OPG was charging £110 for each LPA registration before the fee was reduced to £82 last year, and it had previously been charging even higher rates.

Michelle Hetheridge, Director of Wills & Estates at Thursfields, said: “Before it was reduced, the fee levels meant that the OPG was making a profit on each registration which is not allowed, as this kind of public body is only allowed to charge a break-even rate. We would advise anyone who has made a registration during this period to apply for refunds of between £34 and £54, an amount which will be even higher once interest of 0.5% has been applied.”

Online claims can be made here, or for more details email poarefunds@justice.gsi.gov.uk, call 0300 456 0300 (choose option 6) or use textphone 0115 934 2778.

Michelle, who is based at Thursfields’ Halesowen office, added: “When you consider that hundreds of thousands of LPA registrations were made in that four-year period, the total due to be refunded by the government is estimated to run into millions of pounds.”

For further information, please contact: Michelle Hetheridge, Director on  0121 227 3850 or email mhetheridge@thursfields.co.uk

 

Thursfields’ Wills & Estates team are available at any of our offices and surrounding areas – Worcester, Solihull, Kidderminster, Stourport, Halesowen, Sedgley and Birmingham

 

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