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Inheritance affecting benefits

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Benefits & Tax Credits
12 replies 82.1K views
MrOJonesMrOJones Forumite
3 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Benefits & Tax Credits
My sister is about to inherit £15K from the death of a grand parent and is a now a single mother with four children. She receives state benefits for herself and the children.

The question is: If she pays the inheritance into her bank account will she lose those benefits until the £15K runs out?

If so is there a 'legal' way to aviod her losing her benefits and keeping this money as a future for the children? I.e. for example, through a trust with me (or someone else) as an executor?

The cheque will have to made out to her I expect as she is named in the will but there must be a way to aviod her losing her benefits?

Thank you.
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  • MrOJones wrote: »
    My sister is about to inherit £15K from the death of a grand parent and is a now a single mother with four children. She receives state benefits for herself and the children.

    The question is: If she pays the inheritance into her bank account will she lose those benefits until the £15K runs out?

    If so is there a 'legal' way to aviod her losing her benefits and keeping this money as a future for the children? I.e. for example, through a trust with me (or someone else) as an executor?

    The cheque will have to made out to her I expect as she is named in the will but there must be a way to aviod her losing her benefits?

    Thank you.
    First of all there is NO legal way to avoid getting this money,it has been left to her and hers it is,even if she put it in trust for her children i suspect the dwp would consider that deprivation of capital(in other words she would be treated as though she still had the money.
    Secondly:for means tested benefits i.e. income support,council tax and housing benefit,having less than £6000 doesnt affected these benefits for every £250 over 6k they are reduced by £1,over £16k and they all stop completely
    So in answer to your question there is no way to avoid her losing her benefits,she will lose some of them until she has less than £6k,but again remember the deprivation of capital rules which mean she wont be able to go out and blow the lot on a world cruise !And remember that breaking the rules is fraud which can lead to a criminal record
  • zzzLazyDaisyzzzLazyDaisy Forumite
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    There is a way of avoiding getting this money. That is by making a Deed of Variation renouncing her inheritance.

    But the fact is that this money could be used to make her life and her children's life better. She may need a new car, new furniture, a family holiday (not a round the world cruise!), a new kitchen. These things would not be viewed as intentional deprivation of capital.
    I'm a retired employment solicitor. Hopefully some of my comments might be useful, but they are only my opinion and not intended as legal advice.
  • There is a way of avoiding getting this money. That is by making a Deed of Variation renouncing her inheritance.

    But the fact is that this money could be used to make her life and her children's life better. She may need a new car, new furniture, a family holiday (not a round the world cruise!), a new kitchen. These things would not be viewed as intentional deprivation of capital.

    We could argue long into the night about deprivation of capital,the truth of the matter being that different DMs have different ideas about the rules,so my advice was more of a general nature,in matters like this I would perhaps advise written contact with the OP benefits office
  • zzzLazyDaisyzzzLazyDaisy Forumite
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    woodbine wrote: »
    We could argue long into the night about deprivation of capital,the truth of the matter being that different DMs have different ideas about the rules,so my advice was more of a general nature,in matters like this I would perhaps advise written contact with the OP benefits office


    I was just making the point that not all spending would be classed as deprivation of capital, and that this money could be used to make their life more comfortable - but yes, I agree, advice should be sought of the benefits office
    I'm a retired employment solicitor. Hopefully some of my comments might be useful, but they are only my opinion and not intended as legal advice.
  • bigbillbigbill Forumite
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    You would lose about £36 weekly from your on-going Income Support.

    That's you then 100% legal and above board and lets be honest loaded, no threats of fraud, no rent or council tax to pay ect.
  • I don't know what the situation is now with lump sums and means tested benefit payment but i would say be careful what she spends the money on. I sold my home in 2001 after my divorce and i got £9,000 from the sale. I had£5,000 worth of debts which i wanted to pay off. I had to come off IS as at that time i was over the limit for capital. I was told that if i paid off my debts, took a holiday or bought a computer they would consider that deprivacation of income. Once below £8,000 I had to send receipts in to the DWP for EVERYTHING i bought until i got down to £3,000. To my mind there was no advantage of getting the money at all as we could not clear my debts or take a holiday. I was not looking to do a world cruise or anything just a holiday(had never been on one before) I don't know what it is like now but that was the worst time of my life.
  • There is a way of avoiding getting this money. That is by making a Deed of Variation renouncing her inheritance.

    But the fact is that this money could be used to make her life and her children's life better. She may need a new car, new furniture, a family holiday (not a round the world cruise!), a new kitchen. These things would not be viewed as intentional deprivation of capital.

    I'm not sure if this is true everywhere but my aunt got a compensation payout of over £6000 she is a single widow with 2 disabled children and they were going to cut her benefits as mentioned in the thread but because she could prove that she needed the money to get a new bathroom which then left her with less than the £6000 limit they did not change the amount she received.
  • SuziQSuziQ Forumite
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    I think it's bizzare not to allow people to get rid of debt with inheritance-it's debt that keeps most people in poverty I feel and getting rid frees up more money to live on. I think if it is debt that has been there for -say-more than 5 years then you should be allowed to pay it off with an inheritance (to avoid people running up debt in anticipation of a payout!) Still,rules are rules.
    Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it!
  • seven-day-weekendseven-day-weekend Forumite
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    I think their take on paying debt off is that you have managed so far, you can carry on doing whatever it is you were doing before; you shouldn't pay it all off if it then means you have to rely on State Benefits to live.

    I suppose it's fair enough really.
    (AKA HRH_MUngo)
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    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
  • Thank you all for your answers. Intersting and Helpful.
    :T
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