Swindon & Wiltshire Business News


Lawyers urge people to claim government refunds for powers of attorney

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Alison GriffithsAlison GriffithsPeople who overpaid for registering a power of attorney should make a claim for a refund, say specialists lawyers at Swindon’s Optimum Professional Services.

The government has set aside cash to refund nearly two million people who were overcharged, but it is up to them to make the claim.

“It is not often that the government gives money back, but people who made a power of attorney within the last five years could be entitled to a partial refund for the cost of the application fee,” said Alison Griffiths, wills and probate manager at Optimum, based in Windmill Hill.

“The refunds are being offered because the operating costs of the Office of the Public Guardian came down as more people applied to register a power of attorney and the process became more efficient, but the application fee charged was not reduced in line with this. The Ministry of Justice, which sets the fees, reduced the application fee from 1 April 2017, and has now launched a refund scheme for those who paid a higher fee in the qualifying period.”

A partial refund, of up to £54, plus 0.5 per cent interest, is available to those who registered a power of attorney in England and Wales between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017. The refund applies both to lasting powers of attorney and enduring powers of attorney and a claim must be made by 31 January 2021.

Alison added: “We think this refund scheme is very good news. The offer of this refund, coupled with the now reduced fee of £82 – where once it was £130 – will encourage more people to consider drawing up this very important document.”

Claims can be made online via the government’s website at https://claim-power-of-attorney-refund.service.gov.uk/when-were-fees-paid