If you signed up for a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) between the dates of April 2013 and the 31st of March 2017, you may in fact be able to claim finance back at the hands of the Office of Public Guardian (OPG)
The OPG has since announced that the Ministry of Justice has agreed to refund the excess, and has now launched a refund scheme for those who paid a higher fee in the qualifying earlier period.
The refunds are being offered to those who registered an LPA between the above dates, they may have also been charged more by the OPG than was necessary to apply to register. During this period, the OPG’s operating costs came down as more people applied for a Power of Attorney and the process became more efficient, but the application fee charged was not reduced in line with this.
Essentially, the the OPG provides protection to individuals who may not have the mental capacity to make certain decisions for themselves. You will come across the OPG if you are acting as a Deputy or Attorney, creating or registering a Lasting Power of Attorney or registering an Enduring Power of Attorney.
This includes maintaining an accurate register of Deputies appointed by the Court of Protection, either in a Property and Affairs or Welfare capacity, ensuring that all data is up to date and accurate.
- It ensures their insurance bond provides up to date adequate protection
- Requiring the submission of an Annual Report, which must be supported by bank statements
- Auditing the Annual Reports
- Reviewing the day to day support given by a Deputy
- Ensuring all appropriate benefits are claimed
- Ensuring Tax Returns (where appropriate) are up to date
- Ensuring a Deputy understands his or her obligations under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and its Code of Practice
The OPG also manages the process of creating and registering Enduring and Lasting Powers of Attorney, and of maintaining a register of all documents that have been registered with it.
Where a dispute arises as to whether a Power of Attorney is valid (unless the dispute relates purely to administration) the OPG will refer the matter to the Court of Protection.
Where a Deputy or Attorney is thought to have been acting improperly, the OPG has the power to investigate and prepare a report. In doing this:
- It will investigate matters brought to its attention by the Police, Local Authorities, carers, family members, members of the general public
- It will often work with the Police and other Safeguarding bodies where there are issues of concern raised
- It has the power to ask for bank statements and other financial records
- A Report on the findings can be prepared
- If misconduct is found, the Court of Protection is asked whether the offending party should be removed from involvement in the vulnerable person’s affairs
The OPG and the Court of Protection are often misunderstood, with this in mind it’s worth considering the differences. In Layman’s terms, the Court of Protection makes decisions. Where as the OPG oversees Deputies and Attorneys, and the creation of Powers of Attorney.
If you would like to learn more about OPG of LPAs, we can help with the forward thinking approach and give advice towards your chosen services, which will in turn become a huge benefit to your family in the future.
In addition, Will Protect currently have an offer that will last the entirety of May and June, When you purchase a Will and a Lasting Power of Attorney for Property & Finance, we will provide a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health & Welfare at no extra cost. This represents a saving of £330 which is our standard fee for a Lasting Power of Attorney. Please note that this does not cover the cost of registration with the Office of Public Guardian.
You can contact Will Protect today by whichever means suits you best, you can call us on 0345 894 8441 or alternatively you can email us via firstname.lastname@example.org.