A large number of people who had deputies appointed for them by the Court of Protection may be owed a government refund of more than £700.
The move comes after a Ministry of Justice review found around 82,000 people had been overcharged in fees between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2015.
A deputy is appointed by the Court of Protection to look after the affairs of someone who has lost mental capacity, known as the client, but who doesn’t have a Power of Attorney in place.
Currently, clients must pay the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) a £100 deputy assessment fee and an annual supervision fee, usually £320 a year.
The Ministry of Justice now says the fees it charged over the seven year period concerned did not match how much it actually cost the OPG to supervise deputies.
This, it says, was because costs were hard to predict because the number of deputyships rose faster than expected.
Refunds – which will be paid directly to the client – will vary depending on how much the client paid and at what rate, how long the money was paid for and whether there are unpaid fees outstanding. The average refund will be around £200 but in longstanding deputyship cases, this could rise to more than £700.
How to claim
For help and information and to find out whether a client for whom you act is eligible, you can: