People who have been overcharged when arranging deputyships for over a seven-year period can now claim refunds.
The average pay is thought to be £240.
The fees for the appointment of deputies, who help people that lose the capacity to manage their financial and welfare interests are set by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) while The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) administers the process.
The refunds that are being offered go to those who were charged more than necessary for certain deputyships. This covers any period between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2015.
An OPG statement stated: “Due to difficulty in predicting costs as the number of deputyships rose faster than expected, the fees charged did not match how much it cost OPG to supervise. Since 1 April 2015, clients have not been overcharged.”
A scheme for refunds has now been launched by the MoJ and is applicable to persons who paid higher fees during the qualifying time period. The OPG run scheme will not be applicable to OPG Scotland, the Office of Care and Protection in Northern Ireland or the Court of Protection.
Any former: client now able now able to make decisions, attorney or acting on behalf of a deceased person is able to apply for a refund.
Just one application form needs to be completed for each former client and the OPG will be able to find all qualifying fees paid by them during the period.
Guidance for applications are available online along with a dedicated helpline for those who need it. If you think you may be eligible please visit www.gov.uk/deputyship-refund for more details and to apply.
For those who without access to the internet or require assistance, can contact the OPG on 0300 456 0300 and select option 6 to speak to a refunds team member. There is plenty of time to apply as the schemes will be open to 3 years.
For those who are currently acting as deputies will not need to apply. The OPG will be in contact with the arrange any refunds that may be applicable.
Please contact us if you would like advice about deputyships or lasting powers of attorney.