Covid - 19
We have continued to review and implement the most up to date Government guidance and are pleased to confirm the office is open as usual from 9am to 5pm.
We continue to review and, as the guidance changes, refine our robust risk assessment which covers our client facing reception and meeting room areas, as well as our internal risks for staff work areas, office cleaning and maintenance requirements and, importantly, the impacts on staff communication and well being.
We have adopted the following measures which affect client arrangements:
• Clients are seen face to face by pre-booked appointment only. Advance booked appointments are also required for document signing including obtaining certified copies of documents;
• Only one client meeting will take place in the office at any one time, with calendar management allowing sufficient time between appointments for cleaning routines and to avoid crossover;
• A perspex screen has been installed on our reception desk;
• Increased cleaning routines with hand sanitiser and bacterial wipes available;
• Staff have been briefed and are required to maintain social distancing.
We also continue to follow the guidance in relation to visitors to the office:
• Anyone who is unwell should not visit the office;
• In line with the most up to date guidance, anyone with coronavirus symptoms must self-isolate for 10 days from when their symptoms started;
• If another person in your household or support bubble has symptoms you should self-isolate for 14 days from when the first person in the household/bubble started having symptoms;
• We endeavour to contact all clients before their appointments to check the above;
• We ask all visitors to provide their consent for the purposes of the NHS Test & Trace Service;
Please be aware that it is now a legal requirement to wear a face covering in the building unless you are exempt from doing so. They are required before you enter the building and until you leave it.
Our staff are not required to wear face coverings. If you have a pre-booked meeting and would prefer the person you are meeting with to wear a face-covering then please let them know. Our staff are free to wear a face covering if they wish to do so.
We would like to reassure our clients that we feel confident in maintaining our high level of client service.
Our staff remain accessible and ready to help you – whether you would prefer to continue to liaise via phone or email, or if you would feel comfortable to arrange a face to face meeting.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions at all. Please call or email your usual contact.
Refund of Deputyship fees
On 4 October 2019 the Ministry of Justice launched a new refund scheme.
The Office of the Public Guardian has decided that it needs to refund some of the fees it charged in deputyship matters for the period 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2015.
Some refunds will be issued automatically and some will need to be applied for, e.g. by the deputy themselves or executors in an estate.
Further details can be found;
Power of Attorney Refund Scheme
The Ministry of Justice has announced that people who applied to have a Lasting Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney registered between 1st April 2013 and 31st March 2017 may apply for a partial refund of the fees paid. You must apply by 31st January 2021.
The refund scheme will be operated by the Office of the Public Guardian and applications can be made by telephone, post or online.
Supply your name, contact number, address and email address and the donor’s name and case reference number (if known) to:
Telephone: 0300 456 0300 (select option 6)
Write: POA Refunds Team, 7th Floor, Office of the Public Guardian, PO Box 16185, Birmingham B2 2WH
Please note that the application must be made by the donor or an attorney even if the initial application was made by Sprake & Kingsley or another organisation.
If the donor has died only the Executor or Administrator of the estate can make the claim.