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Am I liable as an Executor for a late bill.

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Over 50s Money Saving
39 replies 7.3K views
size3shoessize3shoes Forumite
32 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Over 50s Money Saving
I wonder if anyone can advise me on a problem that is worrying me. I was the executor of my late mother-in-law's estate. I optained probate in June this year and distributed the proceeds in line with the will (I did not use a solicitor). I have now received a bill from the local council for several thousand pounds which is an underpayment of her domiciliary care. While I was filling in the probate forms they told me that all that was owed was a few hundred pounds. I used this figure as a debt to the estate on the probate forms. They are now saying that they have realised that they had been undercharging her for several years and this money is owed to them. Am I liable for this bill?
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Replies

  • Oh dear that is a difficult situation. Who received the money from the estate?

    Did you get a written statement that only a few hundred pounds was owing?
  • When did your mother in law die?
  • ErrataErrata Forumite
    38.2K Posts
    10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
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    Did they tell you, or did they put it in writing ?
    .................:)....I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...:)


  • from a cab leaflet :



    Overpayments of income support, income-based jobseeker's allowance, pension credit or employment and support allowance
    8
    Recovery from Estates is a section of the DWP that routinely investigates all cases in England and Wales where probate is granted for the administration of an estate of a person who was previously receiving an income-related benefit. Recovery from Estates (Scotland) deals with all cases where the deceased person lived in Scotland. In N. Ireland, the Recovery of Estates section of the Department for Social Development deals with cases in the same way as the DWP does in England.
    9
    The Probate Office (the Commissary Office in Scotland) notifies the DWP that probate has been granted. The Recovery from Estates section will then make enquiries and where an overpayment is identified due to undeclared capital or income, it will contact the executors or personal representatives informing them of the amount overpaid. The overpayment notification contains a right of appeal. If there is a recoverable overpayment, this can be paid from the estate. If an executor or personal representative fails to do this, s/he may have to repay the money from her/his own resources.

    I know it's not exactly the same, but perhaps you should make contact with your local CAB.
  • She died in March this year. My husband was the sole beneficiary of the Will, but has spent the (small amount) of money left him. I had written to the Council soon after she died to ask them if she owed anything on the domiciliary care account. They didn't reply, and it was holding up the probate application, so I phoned and was given a figure over the phone which was around £300. This was the figure I used in the probate form as a debt to the estate. I was subsequently sent a Statement of her account from the Council giving a different figure of just over £100. This is what I paid them. All these months later they have sent a revised statement saying they undercharged her and her executors owe over £4000.
  • To be honest, gaining probate in June from a death in March is pretty quick, so you may not be able to use the phrase 'reasonable time lag' for the local authority. Quite honestly, I don't know but I think you may have to appeal the original decision - after all, the overpayment was their fault, not your mother in law's. I definitely think you should visit your local CAB for their assistance. Whatever you do, do NOT acknowledge the debt either in writing or on the 'phone.
  • BigglesBiggles Forumite
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    Obtaining probate so quickly wasn't the problem.

    I can't see why you distributed the proceeds (albeit only to your husband) so quickly.

    It is usual to make interim distributions, certainly, but to keep back sufficient funds in the estate to meet any outstanding debts, especially when you've been told specifically that there are such debts.

    Still, if your husband received the whole estate, and it was only a small amount, that is all that will need to be repaid, if it was less than the £4,000 due.
  • tigtag02tigtag02 Forumite
    6.9K Posts
    Biggles wrote: »
    Obtaining probate so quickly wasn't the problem.

    I can't see why you distributed the proceeds (albeit only to your husband) so quickly.

    It is usual to make interim distributions, certainly, but to keep back sufficient funds in the estate to meet any outstanding debts, especially when you've been told specifically that there are such debts.

    Still, if your husband received the whole estate, and it was only a small amount, that is all that will need to be repaid, if it was less than the £4,000 due.

    Sorry to jump in on your thread but can I ask a question here. I am about to obtain probate myself and have no clue about what debts there were, am I correct in thinking that I have to advertise in The London Gazette and if no one makes a claim in 2 months and 1 day I can distribute to the beneficiaries?

    Thanks in advance
    tt
    :heartpuls baby no3 due 16th November :heartpuls
    TEAM YELLOW
    DFD 16/6/10
    "Shut your gob! Or I'll come round your houses and stamp on all your toys" The ONE, the ONLY, the LEGENDARY Gene Hunt :heart2:
  • thorsoakthorsoak Forumite
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    When I worked for a solicitor with a probate practice, that was what we would do - although we would leave it for 12 weeks.

    One word of warning : there are companies out there who will scour the London Gazette for such notices - treat any notifications of debts from companies that purport to have supplied a bible/new testament/religous tract with suspicion ...ask for full details and certificate of posting for such a book.... ;)
  • thorsoak wrote: »
    When I worked for a solicitor with a probate practice, that was what we would do - although we would leave it for 12 weeks.

    One word of warning : there are companies out there who will scour the London Gazette for such notices - treat any notifications of debts from companies that purport to have supplied a bible/new testament/religous tract with suspicion ...ask for full details and certificate of posting for such a book.... ;)

    Thanks - I'm definitly gonna take up The Gazette's redirection service - I don't want my address publishing and then I just presume I get all the claims together and then request full proof before actually paying out.

    tt
    :heartpuls baby no3 due 16th November :heartpuls
    TEAM YELLOW
    DFD 16/6/10
    "Shut your gob! Or I'll come round your houses and stamp on all your toys" The ONE, the ONLY, the LEGENDARY Gene Hunt :heart2:
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