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Village Features

Are you due a refund on power of attorney?

Posted on September 30 2018 at 12:43:30

Government payout is also a reminder to sort out your ‘living will’, says Martin Pryor.

It is not often that the government offers a refund because of overcharging, but last month it emerged that the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) had been levying excessive fees for four years.

The fees related to the cost of registration of a power of attorney, whether it was an enduring power of attorney or either of its lasting power of attorney successors – dealing with health and welfare or property and financial matters.

The OPG was meant to cover its costs with attorney registration charges, but instead ended up with an £89 million surplus.

As such, this sum is being returned to those who registered a power in England or Wales between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017.

The maximum refund is £54, and most claims can be made via an online form at http://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney-refund

If the person who granted the power of attorney has died, then that individual’s executor must make a claim by email. Figures obtained via a Freedom of Information request show that up to 1.8 million people may be due a refund.

If you have never registered a power of attorney, either for yourself or perhaps an elderly parent, the refund still has relevance as a reminder to do so.

Enduring powers of attorney address the question, “Who deals with my affairs – personal and financial – when I cannot do so?”

Although often thought of in terms of the elderly going into care, enduring powers of attorney have a much wider relevance. Unfortunately, accidents can and do happen at all ages.

Powers of attorney are frequently dealt with alongside wills as part of estate planning – in some respects they can be regarded as a form of living will. 

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that authorises others – your attorney or attorneys – to act on your behalf.

There are several types of Power of Attorney and the one you need depends on your circumstances and what you want it to cover.

A Power of Attorney must be created while you are able to make decisions and understand what you are doing.

Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney
This type of Lasting Power of Attorney allows the Donor to choose one or more attorneys to make the following decisions in respect of:

* Paying bills, including mortgage, rent and household expenses
* Buying or selling your home
* Opening, closing or operating any bank, building society or other accounts
* Receiving any income, inheritance or other entitlement on behalf of the Donor
* Dealing with the Donor’s tax affairs
* Insuring, maintaining and repairing the Donor’s property
* Investing the Donor’s savings
* Making limited gifts on behalf of the Donor
* Paying for private medical care residential care, or nursing home fees.

This Lasting Power of Attorney allows the Donor to appoint individuals to manage their property and financial matters at any time.

Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney
This type of Lasting Power of Attorney allows the Donor to choose one or more attorneys to make the following decisions in respect of:

* Treatment and Welfare care
* Deciding if they should have a knee replacement
* Where to live and with whom
* Who may or may not visit them
* What they want to buy, wear or where to shop
* Holidays, outings and other experiences
* Running the house, choosing interior decoration and furniture
* Deciding about terminal illness treatment and care
* Considering where they may like to die and the funeral arrangements.
* This Lasting Power of Attorney can only be used when the Donor has become unable to make their own decisions.

If you have not reviewed your estate planning for a while and you have no powers of attorney in place, you could make plans now. You never know when an accident might happen.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax advice or will writing.

Pryor Portfolio Management offers will writing, power of attorney and estate planning services. Contact us for more information:
Tel: 07961 162818
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
http://www.ppm-ifa.co.uk


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