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Thread: DWP claim in Scotland post closure of estate

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  1. #1
    djm969's Avatar

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    Default DWP claim in Scotland post closure of estate

    I think I know the answer here but I would value your guys opinion. This is in Scotland if it makes a difference. My wife’s grandmother died in March 17. He uncle was the executor, emptied the bank account paid the funeral expenses etc. The only other asset was a house c.£100k. to be distributed to the grandchildren. Uncle decides that this is too much work / effort and renounces it to my wife.

    We employ a solicitor and they do the certificate of confirmation and moves the property into grandchildren’s name as per the will.

    After the title deeds have been moved (before six months since death occurred) DWP make a claim to my wife for over payment of pension credit. We fill in a form to say there was no money left and there was the property. DWP come back and say pay up by raising a loan on the property.

    I suspect that we will have to pay up

  2. #2
    des8's Avatar

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    Default Re: DWP claim in Scotland post closure of estate

    Have DWP been asked to provide proof of over payment?

    As an aside as uncle had intermeddled in the estate I am surprised that he was able to renounce.

  3. #3
    djm969's Avatar

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    Default Re: DWP claim in Scotland post closure of estate

    I haven't asked DWP to provide proof.

    The uncle was not really in fit place to continue. He thought he was "doing the right thing"

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    Amethyst's Avatar

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    Default Re: DWP claim in Scotland post closure of estate

    Have DWP at least said why they believe there was an overpayment? Your wife should ask them to provide the evidence and their calculations to check their claim. How much are they after?
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

    Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

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    Peridot's Avatar

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    Default Re: DWP claim in Scotland post closure of estate

    Did your solicitors not request the information before settling the estate?
    I’m not sure on the Scottish rules but if it is the same as England & Wales then once the amount has been clarified, it will still be due from the estate. The beneficiaries can be asked for return of the necessary amount, but if they refuse it will fall to the executor I’m afraid.
    You need to get the amount they have calculated confirmed in the first instance and then you can look at hoe this can be paid.
    I am a qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to provide guidance on a wide range of legal queries. I am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

    If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.

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    SmurfEater's Avatar

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    Default Re: DWP claim in Scotland post closure of estate

    If executor put an Estate Notice in the Gazette, wouldn't this cover estate from any further loss after 2 months in UK and 6 months in Scotland?

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    Amethyst's Avatar

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    Default Re: DWP claim in Scotland post closure of estate

    Quote Originally Posted by SmurfEater View Post
    If executor put an Estate Notice in the Gazette, wouldn't this cover estate from any further loss after 2 months in UK and 6 months in Scotland?
    I believe the DWP claim was before 6 months, and I think in Scotland the 6 months is just established protocol rather than legislative.

    After the title deeds have been moved (before six months since death occurred) DWP make a claim to my wife for over payment of pension credit.
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

    Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

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    Amethyst's Avatar

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    Default Re: DWP claim in Scotland post closure of estate

    Some info here https://www.thegazette.co.uk/wills-a...content/100280


    Main thing is to find out the details of how the DWP has come to the conclusion there has been an overpayment that needs repayment.
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

    Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

    Find Solicitors offering fixed fees on our sister site - JustBeagle.com

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    des8's Avatar

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    Default Re: DWP claim in Scotland post closure of estate

    If the executor is also a beneficiary the posting of notices has little value.
    The notices only protect the personal representative, not the beneficiaries.

  10. #10
    Peridot's Avatar

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    Default Re: DWP claim in Scotland post closure of estate

    In England & Wales, the DWP would be contacted when the person died. Do you know if this happened? The other difference with the gazette notice and the DWP is the fact that the executor knew or should have known benefits were being received by the person who's passed away. The Gazette notices relate to those potential creditors that are not known about, for example a catalogue debt the executor may have been unaware of, having found no paperwork at the deceased's property to indicate there may be anything owing.
    Usually they respond to the notice of the death by way of letter, confirming they are looking into it and that there may be an overpayment so not to distribute the estate until such time as they confirm any over or underpayment.

    You need clarification of the amount they are claiming and why they believe it is due. But unless Scottish rules are significantly different to Eng/Wales, they are entitled to the money I'm afraid.
    I am a qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to provide guidance on a wide range of legal queries. I am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

    If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.

  11. #11
    SmurfEater's Avatar

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    Default Re: DWP claim in Scotland post closure of estate

    So is there any need to post in Gazette if Executor is a beneficiary too? Plus if you follow the 'Tell us Once' procedure wouldn't this inform the DWP even before probate is granted? I'm asking this as my Mother passed away nearly 6 months ago and probate has not yet been granted, I don't want any nasty surprises so wondering if they would have already been in touch?

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    des8's Avatar

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    Default Re: DWP claim in Scotland post closure of estate

    When a person dies it would be normal procedure for the next of kin to advise DWP to cease paying benefits and pension.

    When probate is granted the document becomes available publicly to who ever applies.
    The grant states the value of the estate
    The DWP review the grants of probate for those who were in receipt of benefits.
    The DWP may then (and often do) contact the executor to ascertain if any benefits were overpaid.
    They will not make contact until after probate as they will have no idea of the value (if any) of the estate. If the estate is too small for a grant to be necessary there is no point in DWP trying to make a recovery!

  13. #13
    SmurfEater's Avatar

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    Default Re: DWP claim in Scotland post closure of estate

    Is there a time limit on DWP contact after probate?

  14. #14
    des8's Avatar

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    Default Re: DWP claim in Scotland post closure of estate

    here is DWP response via FOI request to that question:

    11. There are no set time limits. RFE needs to ensure it has collated all necessaryinformation before a decision can be made. This process is dependent on the time takento gather the information and is therefore outside their control. However all efforts will bemade to obtain the information as quickly as possible.


    Generally they seem to make initial contact within 6 months of grant of probate

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    Peridot's Avatar

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    Default Re: DWP claim in Scotland post closure of estate

    But the DWP may not confirm the figures at the time of notification, just acknowledge they are aware.

    As far as notices are concerned, always worth doing them in the event you are unsure of any debts, credit the deceased had. If after the 2 months notice creditors came forward they would have to pursue beneficiaries, the executor can’t be held personally liable for the debt due. Notices however won’t protect executors when they knew or suspected there may be a debt outstanding but did nothing just because the creditor didn’t contact them.

    If an executor or administrator is unsure of a deceased’s spending then a notice is a good idea. If they are certain of the ddeceased’s finances then that is a choice for them but realise if something came up at a later point then they would be liable for the debt.
    Pursuing beneficiaries can be fraught with complications so they may not bother.

    The 6 month time limit you refer to is different again. This is the time limit for claims to be made against the estate, often under the Inheritance Act maybe if someone believes they are entitled to something for the estate and are not included for example.

    DWP is a different matter. When registering a death in England and Wales you have the option upon registration to notify DWP, HMRC and other govt organisations at registration, a bit of a one stop shop, by completing the form on the registration documents folder provided wt the registry office. The organisation contacted will then get in touch in due course, but you can’t just ignore it if they don’t. You would be expected to do the leg work and chase I’m afraid.
    I am a qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to provide guidance on a wide range of legal queries. I am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

    If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.

  16. #16
    SmurfEater's Avatar

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    Default Re: DWP claim in Scotland post closure of estate

    Can you put a notice in before probate is granted?

  17. #17
    Peridot's Avatar

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    Default Re: DWP claim in Scotland post closure of estate

    If you are executor, yes. The executor gets their power through the Will.
    Administrators on the other hand get their powers when the Grant is issued so any notice would only have effect if it was placed after the Grant is issued.
    I am a qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to provide guidance on a wide range of legal queries. I am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

    If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.

  18. #18
    des8's Avatar

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    Default Re: DWP claim in Scotland post closure of estate

    Quote Originally Posted by SmurfEater View Post
    Can you put a notice in before probate is granted?
    As @Peridot and my PM 22/11, as you are the named executor and you have the death certificate.
    Refer to the link I gave you previously: https://www.thegazette.co.uk/wills-a...estates-notice

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