The cost of death continues to rise...
The price of obtaining a death certificate in England and Wales will nearly triple from 16 February 2019. Costs of registering a death will rise from £4 to £11. Although, the cost of obtaining a birth or marriage certificate has also increased, obtaining death certificates could now have a serious financial impact for bereaved relatives.
Death certificates are essential to prove to different authorities the death of a loved one, for example death certificates are needed to prove a death to a life assurance company or send to banks, building societies and investment firms.
On average, at least 10 death certificates are required. Bereaved relatives therefore incur an immediate charge on the death of a loved one. This is mitigated where using a solicitor to administer the estate as in most cases the solicitor can draw up a special form of document which certifies that we have seen the original death certificate, and this is acceptable in place of an original by most organisations.
This takes effect just before the proposed increase in the probate court disbursement, which in itself will be adding up to £6,000 to the cost of administering an estate.
Are you eligible for an LPA refund?
An LPA is an important document that gives someone you trust the power to make health decisions on your behalf when you are no longer able to do so, or to make financial decisions at any time you find that helpful. There are two types of LPA known as a Property and Financial Affairs LPA or a Health and Welfare LPA. The application fee for the registration of each LPA is currently set at £82. However, that fee in the recent past was higher than permitted by statute, once actual costs were ascertained.
Clients can now therefore receive a refund of part of their application fee where the LPA was registered between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017, as we have previously reported.
The application for a refund can be made by the donor or by an LPA attorney, although not by your solicitor. The refund must be paid to the donor's bank account. Clients can expect to receive up to £54 plus accrued interest for each LPA registered between 2013 and 2017.
Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) report that only 200,000 people out of the 1.8 million people eligible for a refund have so far made a claim. To apply for a refund visit: http://gov.uk/power-of-attorney-refund.
It takes approximately 10 minutes to complete the online application. You would simply need the donor's bank details and a copy of the LPA. Application can even be made where the donor has since died. If you need help or more information about making a claim, please contact Refunds Helpline on 0300 456 0300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.