Melanie Messenger

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Refund of deputyship fees

Private Client / 05 November 2019

A deputy is a person or persons appointed by the Court of Protection to look after the affairs of someone who has already lost mental capacity and did not have a power of attorney in place.

When a deputy is appointed, an assessment fee and an annual supervision fee must be paid to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).

On 4 October 2019, the Ministry of Justice, which sets the fees for the OPG, launched a refund scheme. This is because it had become clear that the fees charged did not match how much it actually cost the OPG to supervise deputies. As a result, some people who had deputies appointed for them are owed a refund.

The refund scheme will be run by the OPG. It does not apply to fees paid to OPG Scotland, the Office of Care and Protection in Northern Ireland, or to the Court of Protection.

Who can make a claim?

You can make a claim if you:

– Had a deputy previously but are now able to make your own decisions

– Were acting on behalf of someone who had a deputy, but has now died

If you are a deputy acting under a current court order, you do not need to apply for a refund as any overcharged fees will be refunded automatically.

The refunds are only for deputyship assessments and annual supervision fees paid in relation to the period between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2015.  The correct fees have been charged since 1 April 2015.

How do you make a claim?

You will need to complete a form and send it, together with evidence to support your claim, to the OPG.  Details for both can be found here.

How much will you receive?

That depends on:

-How much you paid and at what rate

-How long you paid for

-Whether you have unpaid fees

You will also receive a 0.5% interest on top of the amount that was overpaid.

How long will it take to receive the refund?

It can take up to 10 weeks to get a decision and a further 2 weeks to receive the refund.

Is there a deadline by which make a claim?

You have until 4 October 2022 to make a claim.

A word on Lasting Powers of Attorney

Please remember that making a Lasting Power of Attorney is a proactive step you can take to appoint one or more people to make decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated.  Whilst you can make a Lasting Power of Attorney without the help of a solicitor, it is important to understand both the benefits and the risks of having these documents in place and to take advice about your choice of attorneys.

Our expertise enables us to provide advice tailored to your circumstances, including business owners who may need a separate Lasting Power of Attorney to cover only the business.

You can find out more about Lasting Powers of Attorney by reading the helpful guide on our website.

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