The Government is set to issues refunds running into tens of millions after it emerged that many people had been overcharged for making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).
The Office of the Public Guardian – the quango responsible for processing applications – last week admitted that hundreds of thousands of people had paid more than they should have done.
A report in the Daily Mail suggests that those affected could be owed up to £28 each and that the total owed to individuals stands at £89million.
Caroline Abrahams, the head of the charity Age UK, said: “We always encourage older people and their families to organise Power of Attorney well in advance of any suggestion it may be needed as it can make life much simpler for everyone later on.
“The fact that so many people have been overcharged risks seriously reducing public trust in the system, and the sooner the Government can reassure us that this cannot happen again and recompenses those who have lost out the better.”
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has declined to confirm precisely how many of those who made an LPA have been overcharged.
In a press statement, the department said: “We are delighted over two million people have registered Powers of Attorney.
“This has allowed us to lower the fees charged for using the service, which we hope will encourage even more people to take this important step and plan for the future.
“The significant uptake also means some customers may have been charged more than necessary to cover the costs of the service. It is right they should be refunded, and we will announce details in due course.”