The Office of the Public Guardian (“OPG”) have begun to offer deputyship fee refunds to those who were overcharged fees from the 1st of April 2008 to the 31st of March 2015.
Why are the OPG offering refunds?
A deputy is a person appointed by the Court of Protection to be legally responsible for someone who no longer has the ability to make decisions for themselves.
Currently you must pay £365 in order to apply be a deputy. Once you have been appointed you must pay an annual supervision fee depending on the level of supervision the deputyship requires. This can cost either £320 where general supervision is required or £35 where minimal supervision is required.
While deputies are appointed by the Court of Protection, the OPG oversees the deputyship system ensuring that deputies carry out their responsibilities effectively as well as providing advice and support.
A review by the Ministry of Justice found that the OPG had set some of the deputyship fees too high. This is because the OPG incorrectly predicted the cost of supervising deputies between the 1st of April 2008 to the 31st of March 2015. Their predictions did not account for the sudden increase in deputyships within this seven year period. As a result, the fees that were charged did not match the actual cost for the OPG to supervise deputies.
How do I apply for a deputyship fee refund?
If you are still a deputy you do not need to apply for a refund as it will be automatically processed by the OPG to the nominated bank account.
If you had a deputy but you now make your own decisions or you are acting on behalf of someone who had a deputy who has died, you will need to apply for a refund by the 4th of October 2022. Full details on how to claim by email, post or phone can be found on the Gov.uk website – https://www.gov.uk/deputyship-refund/how-to-claim
How much will I be refunded?
It is anticipated that most refunds will be around £200 each although for some it could be higher. The amount that will paid out will depend on:
- How much you paid in deputyship fees.
- What rate you paid fee at.
- How long you paid for.
- Whether you have any unpaid fees.
Deputyship fee refunds will include 0.5% interest on top of the amount that was charged.
Please contact our Wills, Probate and Inheritance team on 01228 514077 if you require advice on applying to become a Deputy for someone.