Does Estate need to repay Pension Credit debt?? credit


Asking for my aunty who has been quite ill and is in her 80s. 

The council have overpaid her pension credits and she's been told she has to repay £20k in installments. Realistically it is probably a goal that will unlikely be achieved.

It is a horrible thing to think about but she is worried about her mortality as she has been in and out of hospital the last 12 months. obviously we want her to outlast us all but she is worried about what will happen with the debt upon something happening to her.  She has a modest Will, funeral cover policy and about £4k in savings. She owns no property.

I understand a little about probate and understand that noone will personally be liable to repay it (she is unmarried) - and it will be down for the exexutor to sort out any Estate and distribute the wishes.

However will the Estate need to clear the pension credit debt first, meaning her wishes for gifts will be unachieved as partial (not even full) repayment would wipe out the pot. 

Please be assured it's not about any survivors getting the money (we are self sufficient and doing fine) but she is a natural born worrier and would like answers so would like to give her some clarity.



  • MorningcoffeeIVMorningcoffeeIV Forumite
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    Any debts will take precedence over any distribution.
  • RubyroobsRubyroobs Forumite
    703 Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Posts Name Dropper
    How on earth did she end up with 20k overpayment ? Was it from a mistake made by DWP?
  • Keep_pedallingKeep_pedalling Forumite
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    Her estate will not need probate as there is no property and very merger assets. An estate with more debt than assets is an insolvent estate, and should be handled with great care as getting it wrong could leave the administrator on the hook for the debt. With a shortfall of £16k when the time comes no one should intermeddle with the estate, simply write to the DWP informing them of the death, and that the estate is insolvent and that no one is administering it.
  • Robbie64Robbie64 Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    You have posted that the council have overpaid her Pension Credits. Do you mean the DWP? The council don't pay PC.
    What has been ruled to be the cause of the overpayment? Is it a recent decision?
    My advice would be for your aunty to seek advice, from Citizens Advice or similar to see if anything can be done about reducing or wiping out any overpayment.
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