The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has announced a new consultation paper entitled Proposals on changes to the Office of the Public Guardian fees in 2011/2012, launched on 28 February 2011, which aims to ensure that the OPG fee policy remains fair, equitable and proportionate to the services being provided whilst ensuring that the costs incurred by the OPG are adequately covered.
The proposed changes are as follows:
- raising the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) application to register from £120 to £130;
- Implementing a new “resubmission fee” of £65 each time an LPA is resubmitted to the OPG within three months of it being returned to the applicant as invalid;
- discontinuing the production of LPA office copies by the OPG, except in extreme and limited circumstances, and for a £50 fee;
- removing the application to search the registers fee;
- replacing type 1, 2A and 2 supervision fees with a flat fee of £320 and introducing an administration fee of £35 for those in type 3 requiring the lowest level of supervision;
- raising the maximum threshold of capital for those cases qualifying for type 3 supervision from £16,000 to £21,000 over a period of four years;
- introducing a new fee remissions policy of 50 per cent for those who have a gross income of up to £12,000;
- allowing the public guardian to vary the levels of fees payable in the future, examples of which could be:
- implementing a new discounted fee for any LPA applications that are submitted together;
- removing or discounting the LPA registration fee for armed service personnel.
- renaming a number of OPG fees in order to make it clearer what they cover.
If the proposals are agreed it is anticipated that the changes will take effect from 1 July 2011.