Forum Home» Energy» Water Bills

Water bill. Excessive info required to change name on bill following bereavement ?

New Post Advanced Search

Water bill. Excessive info required to change name on bill following bereavement ?

edited 19 August 2019 at 10:09PM in Water Bills
8 replies 3.7K views
welshjenniwelshjenni Forumite
25 posts
edited 19 August 2019 at 10:09PM in Water Bills
Welsh Water (Dwr Cymru) have supplied my parents home for many years, the account was in my father’s name and the 2019/20 bill was paid in full. Following his recent death my brother (we are both executors of the Will) advised them that the account should now be in our mother’s name.

I telephoned them when my mother received a letter stating that they had been notified that the property was empty! They have closed the account but won’t transfer the credit into the new account in my mother’s name without receipt of either a Grant of Probate, a Grant of Representation or a copy if the Will. I explained that the Death Certificate has been sufficient documentation for every other organisation that we had dealt with!

Today my brother was advised that they wouldn’t accept the Will, I had been given incorrect information apparently and that only a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Representation, will suffice. These will cost over £200 each and are not required for any other actions that we have to take.

Surely this cannot be correct? Any advice or suggestions please? (Citizens Advice were closed today)

Thank you

Replies

  • matelodavematelodave Forumite
    5.6K posts
    Eighth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭
    AFAIK any organisation can insist on a grant of probate even if the estate value is below the legal threshold although many don't. We had a similar situation when my Dad died.

    Just one creditor insisted on it and in the end it was easier to lose the money from that creditor than go through all the cost & aggro of getting probate.

    You might feel the same unless WW owe you significantly more than the cost, time and effort of proving the will.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • DawnCrushDawnCrush Forumite
    220 posts
    100 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭
    welshjenni wrote: »
    Welsh Water (Dwr Cymru) have supplied my parents home for many years, the account was in my father’s name and the 2019/20 bill was paid in full. Following his recent death my brother (we are both executors of the Will) advised them that the account should now be in our mother’s name.

    I telephoned them when my mother received a letter stating that they had been notified that the property was empty! They have closed the account but won’t transfer the credit into the new account in my mother’s name without receipt of either a Grant of Probate, a Grant of Representation or a copy if the Will. I explained that the Death Certificate has been sufficient documentation for every other organisation that we had dealt with!

    Today my brother was advised that they wouldn’t accept the Will, I had been given incorrect information apparently and that only a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Representation, will suffice. These will cost over £200 each and are not required for any other actions that we have to take.

    Surely this cannot be correct? Any advice or suggestions please? (Citizens Advice were closed today)

    Thank you

    You don't need both a Grant of Probate and a Grant of Representation; you only need one.
    Grant of Probate is required to distribute the assets of an estate according to a will, where a will exists.
    Grant of Representation is required to distribute the assets of an estate, where no will existed.

    Neither are required where all the assets were jointly held (as they autiomatically pass to the surviving party) or where the value of the estate is less than £10k (but I suspect the value is over £10k as a property is involved).

    So it sounds like you are going to need one anyway.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
    28.2K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    I agree with posts #2 & #3 above.

    The threshold for requiring probate is an estate value of 'only' £15,000. I assume the house was rented and you are seeking a rebate of the water charges that were paid in advance.

    If the estate is small enough that probate is not required, I suggest you contact the Consumer Council for Water and ask them to talk to Welsh Water.
  • edited 20 August 2019 at 5:49PM
    welshjenniwelshjenni Forumite
    25 posts
    edited 20 August 2019 at 5:49PM
    Thank you.

    A solicitor has advised that neither probate nor a Grant of representation would be required. 99% of assets were jointly owned - it’s only things like this credit on the water to be dealt with. In fact this is the only outstanding issue.

    We realise that Welsh Water have asked for either the one or the other, although to have to spend over £200 on either of them to obtain the refund seems excessive. Initially I was told that a 3rd option of a copy of the Will would suffice but they have changed their mind on that. I intend to ask them to check their recording of the call when they gave that advice.

    My parents have lived in the house for over 60 years, very much old school, never owed a penny, paid on the ball for all of their bills or even up front for some things such as the water and seemingly my mother is now being penalised.

    I’ll certainly follow up with the suggestion to contact the Consumer Council for Water.

    Many thanks.
  • Mister_GMister_G Forumite
    1.4K posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭
    Most utilities have a "Bereavement Department" who deal with cases like this.

    Do Welsh Water not have one of these?

    Just a thought.
  • D_M_ED_M_E Forumite
    3K posts
    1,000 Posts Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    The simplest thing here would have been to tell them that he was no longer responsible for paying the bill from x date and from then on she was responsible.

    This is what someone in our family did when her mother died and her father took over the bills.

    They just said "ok, we'll close that account and start a new one in his name" - job done.

    That was about 3 years ago, though.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
    28.2K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    D_M_E wrote: »
    The simplest thing here would have been to tell them that he was no longer responsible for paying the bill from x date and from then on she was responsible.

    This is what someone in our family did when her mother died and her father took over the bills.

    They just said "ok, we'll close that account and start a new one in his name" - job done.

    That was about 3 years ago, though.

    My understanding is that the house is now empty and the 2019/20 water bill was paid in advance, and thus the widow is due a refund.
  • Uxb1Uxb1 Forumite
    593 posts
    500 Posts Name Dropper First Anniversary
    ✭✭
    I personally found W.Water easy to deal with when a relative died and the property became empty.
    Certainly far easier than the other utility companies...maybe things have changed from like the above poster 3 years ago.....
    I sent off an email to them explaining the death and attaching a scan of the death cert.
    They then closed the account and myself paid the outstanding amount due immediately which they sent me- to be later claimed back from the estate of which I was anyway executor.
    Then when the property became used again I informed WW either on line or via a paper copy of their connection notice which they sent me when I closed the deceased's account down (cant' remember which )
    They then sent me the new account number details and I registered on line and set up a DD
    job done.

    No probate or copy will was required to be seen by WW though I was informant on the Death Cert which would have given WW my confirmed name and address.

    Maybe because there is a credit in the deceased's WW account that is causing WW to be cautious and wanting probate to see exactly who they should be paying the refund back to?
Sign In or Register to comment.

Quick links

Essential Money | Who & Where are you? | Work & Benefits | Household and travel | Shopping & Freebies | About MSE | The MoneySavers Arms | Covid-19 & Coronavirus Support