Opinions and insights from our private client team
Lasting Powers of Attorney reduction in registration fees
- AuthorBen Taylor
From 1 April 2017, the fee for registration of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) and Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) was reduced from £110 to £82. Before an LPA can be used by the attorneys, it needs to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) and the reduction in the fee payable is likely to be welcomed by both professionals and clients.
For those who submitted an LPA or EPA application for registration, which is paid for after this date, the OPG have confirmed that a refund will be made of the difference.
The latest reduction in registration fees comes following a review by the Government and the OPG into the cost of providing services offered by the OPG, both now and in the future. Looking at the commentary and discussion in Parliament, it appears that the cost of registration has been in excess of operational cost for some time, without proper power being exercised to permit this.
The new fee, however, appears to still be in excess of current cost - to take account of future demand and the remission structure which applies to either reduce or waive the fee altogether. It was pointed out in discussion in Parliament, that the registration fee also contributes to the cost of the OPG’s other activities, including the costs of the appointment of deputies.
The reduced fee is good news in principle, but some will query the concept of such registration fees being used to pay for other services. Indeed, this issue appears to have been raised in the House of Lords, where concern for that practice was expressed if it were applied to other public services.
This all sounds a bit familiar, however, particularly with the recent announcement of the increase in probate fees. There has been widespread news coverage on the fee increase, and it is understood that the new fee structure has also been introduced to cover not only the cost of the Probate Registry now and in the future, but also other parts of the court and tribunal service. In that case, the majority of the respondents to the consultation about the new fee structure did not agree with the proposals which are set to be introduced shortly. For more on the increase in probate fees, have a read of Elizabeth Young’s views.
For those who have been put off by registration fees in the past, now might be a good time to look to put in place an LPA. Further, and due to changing guidance or family circumstances, it may also be a good time to review your Lasting Power of Attorney to check it’s up to date. Of course, in either case, our Private Client team is here to help.