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  • FIRST POST
    • Sam_carvel
    • By Sam_carvel 8th Jan 18, 9:09 AM
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    Sam_carvel
    Dealing with utilities debt after wife's death. HELP!!
    • #1
    • 8th Jan 18, 9:09 AM
    Dealing with utilities debt after wife's death. HELP!! 8th Jan 18 at 9:09 AM
    I am writing this on behalf of my brother, he recently lost his wife. He isn't dealing with anything so I am trying to help him out as much as I can. My SIL has been hiding alot of debt from my brother and now that she has passed we are dealing with it. I have been trying to read up online about as much as I can but in regards to energy debts what happens? She has a huge debt with them. I have read that the debt would be transferred to us as we are still living here (for the moment) but I have also read that it can be written off although the energy companies will try to 'scare' you to pay it. Just want to know as much information before making the calls. Such a stressful time and want it to be easy as possible for my brother and my nephew & niece. Thank you for any advice/help
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    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 8th Jan 18, 9:36 AM
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    Keep pedalling
    • #2
    • 8th Jan 18, 9:36 AM
    • #2
    • 8th Jan 18, 9:36 AM
    I don’t think it is that simple to right off a utility debt because your brother as an occupier has been supplied with the service and is still receiving that service.

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/nireland/consumer/energy/energy-supply/energy-bills/understanding-your-energy-bill/who-is-responsible-for-paying-the-energy-bills/

    Is this rented or owned property?
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 8th Jan 18, 10:30 AM
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    getmore4less
    • #3
    • 8th Jan 18, 10:30 AM
    • #3
    • 8th Jan 18, 10:30 AM
    that link is for NI.

    try the England one(or the Scotland or Wales if appropriate)

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/energy/energy-supply/problems-with-your-energy-bill/find-out-if-youre-responsible-for-paying-an-energy-bill/
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 8th Jan 18, 10:39 AM
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    Robin9
    • #4
    • 8th Jan 18, 10:39 AM
    • #4
    • 8th Jan 18, 10:39 AM
    Is there a will ?
    Never pay on an estimated bill
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 8th Jan 18, 10:47 AM
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    Yorkshireman99
    • #5
    • 8th Jan 18, 10:47 AM
    • #5
    • 8th Jan 18, 10:47 AM
    I am writing this on behalf of my brother, he recently lost his wife. He isn't dealing with anything so I am trying to help him out as much as I can. My SIL has been hiding alot of debt from my brother and now that she has passed we are dealing with it. I have been trying to read up online about as much as I can but in regards to energy debts what happens? She has a huge debt with them. I have read that the debt would be transferred to us as we are still living here (for the moment) but I have also read that it can be written off although the energy companies will try to 'scare' you to pay it. Just want to know as much information before making the calls. Such a stressful time and want it to be easy as possible for my brother and my nephew & niece. Thank you for any advice/help
    Originally posted by Sam_carvel
    It is possible the estate is insolvent. Have you any idea of the assets and debts of the estate? You need to be careful that you don't do anything that might be regarded as what is known as intermeddling. Don't do anything further until you are sure. Your brother is not responsible for his late wife's debts.Is there a property invpved? Who owns it and how i.e. tenants in common or joint tenants? Have you read the sties at the beginning of this forum?
    Last edited by Yorkshireman99; 08-01-2018 at 12:17 PM.
    • Raxiel
    • By Raxiel 8th Jan 18, 11:15 AM
    • 530 Posts
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    Raxiel
    • #6
    • 8th Jan 18, 11:15 AM
    • #6
    • 8th Jan 18, 11:15 AM
    Even if you don't speak to the company yet, take meter readings NOW (unless there were any taken nearer the time of death). See what others say before acting, but I believe that if the account was in the wife's name, your brother should be able to register a new account in his own name, and should have accurate meter readings to do so. This is no different to what would happen if they moved out and someone else moved in.

    The energy Co may still pursue the Wife's estate for the balance, but they won't be able to apply it to the current occupants and force pre-payment meters on them etc.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 8th Jan 18, 12:29 PM
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    getmore4less
    • #7
    • 8th Jan 18, 12:29 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Jan 18, 12:29 PM
    For utilities ownership and occupation information is important.
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 8th Jan 18, 12:33 PM
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    Keep pedalling
    • #8
    • 8th Jan 18, 12:33 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Jan 18, 12:33 PM
    Whoops! Apologies for that. Following that link the OPs brother will still be responsible for the bill if the property is rented, and he is on the tenancy agreement, or if he owned the property.
    • Sam_carvel
    • By Sam_carvel 9th Jan 18, 2:38 PM
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    Sam_carvel
    • #9
    • 9th Jan 18, 2:38 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Jan 18, 2:38 PM
    Thank you all but again its different things being advised. My brother rents and his name is on the TA it is only his wives name on the utility bill. At the moment him and the three children will be staying at the property bit dont know if this will be long term. There wasn't a will but she doesnt have any estate or money just some debts.
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 9th Jan 18, 2:55 PM
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    Keep pedalling
    Thank you all but again its different things being advised. My brother rents and his name is on the TA it is only his wives name on the utility bill. At the moment him and the three children will be staying at the property bit dont know if this will be long term. There wasn't a will but she doesnt have any estate or money just some debts.
    Originally posted by Sam_carvel
    In that case unfortunately he is responsible for the bill. If you check out getmoreforless’s link you will be able to confirm this is the case.
    • Sam_carvel
    • By Sam_carvel 9th Jan 18, 3:12 PM
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    Sam_carvel
    Thank you I thought this would be the case.
    The debt is in thousands and there is no possible way of him paying it back. What can he do?
    • Sam_carvel
    • By Sam_carvel 9th Jan 18, 3:20 PM
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    Sam_carvel
    Also would he still be liable if he was to move out of the property? I Think it would be best if he was closer to family and friends.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 9th Jan 18, 3:26 PM
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    Yorkshireman99
    Whoops! Apologies for that. Following that link the OPs brother will still be responsible for the bill if the property is rented, and he is on the tenancy agreement, or if he owned the property.
    Originally posted by Keep pedalling
    How is the liability for the bill tied to the tenancy? If the electricity account was in her name how is he liable for her debt?
    • Sam_carvel
    • By Sam_carvel 9th Jan 18, 3:50 PM
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    Sam_carvel
    Yorkshireman99 I thought that he wouldn't be but as he has been using the energy I can see why he would be liable but it isn't his fault that she has been hiding it from him. I'm just stuck at what to do. Dont want to tell him he is liably as he is grieving worrying about other things but think I am going to need to tell him.
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 9th Jan 18, 4:00 PM
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    Keep pedalling
    How is the liability for the bill tied to the tenancy? If the electricity account was in her name how is he liable for her debt?
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/nireland/consumer/energy/energy-supply/energy-bills/understanding-your-energy-bill/who-is-responsible-for-paying-the-energy-bills/
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 9th Jan 18, 4:03 PM
    • 4,333 Posts
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    Keep pedalling
    Yorkshireman99 I thought that he wouldn't be but as he has been using the energy I can see why he would be liable but it isn't his fault that she has been hiding it from him. I'm just stuck at what to do. Dont want to tell him he is liably as he is grieving worrying about other things but think I am going to need to tell him.
    Originally posted by Sam_carvel
    How could it come to that state with him being totally unaware of the situation? This must have been going on for a very long time to rattle that sort of dept up.
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 9th Jan 18, 4:55 PM
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    Keep pedalling
    Also would he still be liable if he was to move out of the property? I Think it would be best if he was closer to family and friends.
    Originally posted by Sam_carvel
    Yes, as he was a tenant all the while those bills were not being paid. He might find it worthwhile talking to the charity National DebtLine.

    https://www.nationaldebtline.org/
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 9th Jan 18, 5:36 PM
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    Yorkshireman99
    Noted but it where is the legal case for this? The contract for the electricity supply was with the deceased not with anyone else.
    • Sam_carvel
    • By Sam_carvel 9th Jan 18, 5:56 PM
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    Sam_carvel
    I'm so confused I've read citizens advice but also other websites like british gas (who it is with) says they close the account and open another?!?!? What to know where we stand before phoning. It's being going on for a few years they live in such an old building and hearing it costs a fortune with storage heaters and electric heaters. He never opened the mail they have separate accounts she paid so much of the bills,was suppose to, and he paid the majority of things . That's why he knew nothing of this and her credit card.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 9th Jan 18, 6:06 PM
    • 3,537 Posts
    • 2,886 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    I'm so confused I've read citizens advice but also other websites like british gas (who it is with) says they close the account and open another?!?!? What to know where we stand before phoning. It's being going on for a few years they live in such an old building and hearing it costs a fortune with storage heaters and electric heaters. He never opened the mail they have separate accounts she paid so much of the bills,was suppose to, and he paid the majority of things . That's why he knew nothing of this and her credit card.
    Originally posted by Sam_carvel
    He is not reponsible for her credit card debt in any way. They will write it off if her estate has no assets.
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