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  • FIRST POST
    • KK14
    • By KK14 24th Sep 19, 10:28 PM
    • 25Posts
    • 7Thanks
    KK14
    DWP & problems with executor
    • #1
    • 24th Sep 19, 10:28 PM
    DWP & problems with executor 24th Sep 19 at 10:28 PM
    My late mum died in March 2019 this year. I registered her death & used the Tell Us Once service. In June I received 2 letters stating there had been a slight overpayment in her benefits just over £200. No matter. This will be paid when her property sells very shortly.

    A couple of months later, the DWP have written to the executor after probate has been granted. No doubt alerted to the value of the estate as it includes the value of her property. Is it my understanding that he should tell them that what is down as the value is mainly her property?
    He recorded the conversation & sent it to me & I was not impressed since the person he spoke to was scare mongering him into thinking that my mum might owe thousands.

    As far as I am aware, my mum was on the correct benefits including her pension credit.
    She was 90 when she died so would she have been in receipt of something that I read AIP?

    I am the main beneficiary of her will & apart from her will bequests, the rest of her estate passes to me. Her house sale should complete next week & with the proceeds I am buying a house, much less value. As I am self employed & had to empty her bungalow which had 50 yrs of hoarding in it, I virtually had to give up work for 5 months. The executor did not help me in this task at all despite me asking him several times.

    The executor has been giving me some money to live off from my mumís bank accounts which will pass to me as per the will.
    These were granted as they were below the probate threshold & declared as part of her estate.
    My mumís estate was below the Inheritance Tax threshold. There is no income or any other tax to be paid. However now he has been frightened by the DWP, he is refusing to give me any money.
    I have read stories on here that it is taking them ages to go through files but surely he would be mad to wait?! Surely if my house purchase does not go through due to his actions then I could end up sueing him? I read of a case that took 2 yrs to come through.

    I have told him that as I have signed my purchase contract that I am bound by it now - if he made me pull out then I would lose the reservation deposit which was £4800.
    If my mumís estate does owe money then I have said that everyone including myself would have to have a cut of their inheritance taken so it can be paid. This was even suggested by the DWP.

    But even so, after the house sells plus what is left in the bank accounts, there is more than enough money but he has made some miscalculations & last week refused to give me any money that I needed to pay for rent & bills. I had to ring him & have serious words with him before he admitted he had miscalculated & then gave me the money.

    I have helped him administer probate every step of the way. Actually I will go further than that, iíve done most of it in order to save the estate & myself money. I know that it is his discretion to give me money but surely he has a duty to ensure that I am
    financially ok & not put in any hardship through this?

    My cousin is horrified at his actions in all of this & thinks he is into some kind of power game with me & it has all gone to his head.
    I am seeing a solicitor for a free half hr session in a few days but any advice in this would be gratefully received.
    We are also in dispute about a 2nd funeral for my mumís ashes & he wants to go against the wishes of 3 family members. He is not a family member.
Page 1
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 24th Sep 19, 10:42 PM
    • 7,121 Posts
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    Keep pedalling
    • #2
    • 24th Sep 19, 10:42 PM
    • #2
    • 24th Sep 19, 10:42 PM
    Yes the executor should be providing the DWP with the information they are asking for.

    If money is owned through overpaid PC however that will all come out of your share as you appear to be the residual beneficiary.
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 24th Sep 19, 10:46 PM
    • 7,121 Posts
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    Keep pedalling
    • #3
    • 24th Sep 19, 10:46 PM
    • #3
    • 24th Sep 19, 10:46 PM
    Is was unwise of you to commit your inheritance to a house purchase before you actually had received it, and as you admit the executor is not obliged to make interim payments and would be unwise to do so until they have resolved the position with the DWP.
    • Dox
    • By Dox 24th Sep 19, 11:27 PM
    • 1,684 Posts
    • 1,273 Thanks
    Dox
    • #4
    • 24th Sep 19, 11:27 PM
    • #4
    • 24th Sep 19, 11:27 PM

    A couple of months later, the DWP have written to the executor after probate has been granted. No doubt alerted to the value of the estate as it includes the value of her property. Is it my understanding that he should tell them that what is down as the value is mainly her property? Correct, but it could still take months for the DWP to come back to him and confirm all is in order.
    He recorded the conversation & sent it to me & I was not impressed since the person he spoke to was scare mongering him into thinking that my mum might owe thousands. Possible she could, but unlikely.

    However now he has been frightened by the DWP, he is refusing to give me any money.
    I have read stories on here that it is taking them ages to go through files but surely he would be mad to wait?! No, he'd be mad to pay out knowing there could still be debts owing - and as executor he would be personally liable. Surely if my house purchase does not go through due to his actions then I could end up sueing him? On what grounds - that he had followed all guidelines for executors?

    I know that it is his discretion to give me money but surely he has a duty to ensure that I am
    financially ok & not put in any hardship through this? No, his duty is to administer the estate correctly as executor of the estate.

    My cousin is horrified at his actions in all of this & thinks he is into some kind of power game with me & it has all gone to his head. Another one who doesn't understand the role of an executor...
    I am seeing a solicitor for a free half hr session in a few days but any advice in this would be gratefully received. Given all my negative comments, you may be pleasantly surprised if I say that I suspect a letter from your solicitor might actually oil the wheels considerably, particularly if it contains undertakings about your willingness to pay back to the estate any funds demanded (and proved payable) by the DWP. I do hope so!
    Originally posted by KK14
    Please see above.
    • KK14
    • By KK14 25th Sep 19, 6:50 AM
    • 25 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    KK14
    • #5
    • 25th Sep 19, 6:50 AM
    • #5
    • 25th Sep 19, 6:50 AM
    There is money left to other beneficiaries so this is why it is fairer to take a cut from everyone especially if there is an amount to pay not just take it from me. He has not distributed the estate fully since we are waiting for the sale of the property to happen.

    The house selling process started from early May - the DWP have just sent their letter now. Probate was granted in late June. The completion date looks like being set next week so please have some empathy for my situation.

    So i’m also meant to live on fresh air? I’m building up my businesses again & it takes time & because of all this trauma, I can’t even grieve for my own mother!

    Sorry he has NOT done his job. I have done it for him. He should have renounced the role.
    I’m not going to stand there & let him be liable though so we need to come to an agreement
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 25th Sep 19, 7:37 AM
    • 5,073 Posts
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    Robin9
    • #6
    • 25th Sep 19, 7:37 AM
    • #6
    • 25th Sep 19, 7:37 AM
    OP - I think you are trying to rush this. March till now is only 6 months. Settling an estate inside a year is doing well when it includes a property.

    Keep you fingers crossed that the sale does go through - my MIL's house went on the market in May, sold in June with completion early this month. A week before exchange the buyers pulled out.

    Don't count your chickens.
    Never pay on an estimated bill
    • katiepoppycat
    • By katiepoppycat 25th Sep 19, 7:49 AM
    • 1,641 Posts
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    katiepoppycat
    • #7
    • 25th Sep 19, 7:49 AM
    • #7
    • 25th Sep 19, 7:49 AM
    Hi, it sounds like the value of the estate has triggered the dreaded letter. This is exactly what happenend to me. It's very strongly worded and quite frightening. The letter requires you to copy the info you submitted for probate onto their form and send it back to them. After a couple of weeks I received a 'no action necessary' letter. Just because they can take months, doesn't mean they will. I also chased it - however be super nice to them on the phone. It did make me angry - if the DWP can access the topline value, why on earth can't they see the breakdown? They would then immediately be able to tell if a letter was necessary. The other really anoying thing is that the breakdown of the estate that they ask for is slightly different to how it's done for probate so it's hard to make it add up. To add insult to injury, she wasn't on any means tested benefits anyway!
    • TonyMMM
    • By TonyMMM 25th Sep 19, 8:34 AM
    • 2,947 Posts
    • 3,411 Thanks
    TonyMMM
    • #8
    • 25th Sep 19, 8:34 AM
    • #8
    • 25th Sep 19, 8:34 AM
    There is money left to other beneficiaries so this is why it is fairer to take a cut from everyone
    Originally posted by KK14
    It isn't a matter of fairness - it depends on how the will is worded. The executor doesn't have discretion about it.
    • KK14
    • By KK14 25th Sep 19, 8:35 AM
    • 25 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    KK14
    • #9
    • 25th Sep 19, 8:35 AM
    • #9
    • 25th Sep 19, 8:35 AM
    Thank you for your reply. I agree. The wording of the letter is awful. Clearly I haven’t got a crystal ball so I can put my life on hold for x amount of months just on the off chance that I will get a DWP letter. The whole thing is making me stressed. I’m not in control of the situation & my life is being governed by this guy who doesn’t have a clue & has already miscalculated stuff on the Will.
    I have come up with a plan of action today & I only hope the executor agrees with it or we start looking at how many people are going to be sueing each other if things don’t happen.
    I’ve told him that i’m not leaving him liable but I have advised him to ring up the DWP again with this info & hopefully we can all breathe easy
    • KK14
    • By KK14 25th Sep 19, 8:39 AM
    • 25 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    KK14
    So what would be your suggestion? No one has a crystal ball about this. This letter has only just landed this week. Will bequests are will bequests. There are no penalty clauses, it’s the estate that pays for debts as a whole so why should that penalise just me & no one else? The estate as a whole includes the beneficiaries
    • elsien
    • By elsien 25th Sep 19, 8:43 AM
    • 20,087 Posts
    • 51,118 Thanks
    elsien
    Have you considered getting a job rather than handouts from the executor which they are not legally obliged to give? It's a bit silly to start talking about people suing each other - that has the potential to get messy and expensive quite quickly.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • TonyMMM
    • By TonyMMM 25th Sep 19, 9:05 AM
    • 2,947 Posts
    • 3,411 Thanks
    TonyMMM
    If he doesn't administer the estate properly he WILL be liable, and you can't take that liability away from him.

    As executor, he is quite within his rights to not make any payments until any over/underpayment has been settled with the DWP. It is one of the key responsibilities he has. You should be doing everything you can to help/encourage him to get that sorted.


    As far as distribution goes -

    If the will says that the estate is split between the beneficiaries by shares (e.g. 10% to x, 10% to y, & 80% to z), then any costs or repayments will come out before the split is made and so be shared in proportion between x, y and z.

    If the will says " I leave £5k to x, £5k to y, and the rest to z", then assuming the estate has sufficient assets x & y will get their full £5k, and z gets whatever is left. In that scenario, z effectively bears any costs from their share.
    • Newly retired
    • By Newly retired 25th Sep 19, 9:25 AM
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    • 2,847 Thanks
    Newly retired
    I am a bit perplexed as to how you would have managed your rent and living expenses if your mum had not died. You seem to be expecting your inheritance to cover your normal expenses, not just the house purchase.
    You were actually premature in going ahead with a house purchase before the estate was settled. It is quite usual for DWP to send out these letters if the deceased was on Pension credit, as you are right in thinking it is triggered by an estate value including the property making it look as if the deceased had assets which meant they were not entitled to benefits. In my opinion better checks should be made before such letters go out. But it is what it is, and hopefully it will not take too long for the situation with DWP to be resolved. But you cannot blame the executor for carrying out his responsibilities. As for people suing each other, total waste of time and money.
    • Dox
    • By Dox 25th Sep 19, 1:10 PM
    • 1,684 Posts
    • 1,273 Thanks
    Dox
    Thank you for your reply. I agree. The wording of the letter is awful. Clearly I havenít got a crystal ball so I can put my life on hold for x amount of months just on the off chance that I will get a DWP letter. The whole thing is making me stressed. Iím not in control of the situation & my life is being governed by this guy who doesnít have a clue & has already miscalculated stuff on the Will.
    I have come up with a plan of action today & I only hope the executor agrees with it or we start looking at how many people are going to be sueing each other if things donít happen.
    Iíve told him that iím not leaving him liable but I have advised him to ring up the DWP again with this info & hopefully we can all breathe easy
    Originally posted by KK14
    You're being silly. Stop throwing your toys out of the pram and get to grips with the reality.
    • badger09
    • By badger09 25th Sep 19, 1:30 PM
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    badger09
    Have you considered getting a job rather than handouts from the executor which they are not legally obliged to give? It's a bit silly to start talking about people suing each other - that has the potential to get messy and expensive quite quickly.
    Originally posted by elsien
    Op was self employed and had to 'virtually give up work for 5 months' to clear late mother's bungalow.

    I agree talk of suing is silly.


    So what would be your suggestion? No one has a crystal ball about this. This letter has only just landed this week. Will bequests are will bequests. There are no penalty clauses, itís the estate that pays for debts as a whole so why should that penalise just me & no one else? The estate as a whole includes the beneficiaries
    Originally posted by KK14
    From another of your threads, it is clear that other beneficiaries inherit specific amounts and you are the residual beneficiary. In which case, those beneficiaries will receive the amounts specified and any overpayment of benefits to be refunded to DWP will be deducted from your inheritance.

    This is not meant as criticism, as I'm sure you've had a stressful time, but you have been very impatient with the whole process.

    You may be able to convince the executor to release sufficient funds from the sale of your late mum's bungalow so that your house purchase can go ahead as planned. However, if he/she refuses, then there is no way you can force them.
    • chesky
    • By chesky 26th Sep 19, 3:58 PM
    • 1,240 Posts
    • 2,155 Thanks
    chesky
    You were warned back in April when you asked for advice when to start house-hunting, that you shouldn't rush into anything and that probate and it's surrounding issues could easily take a year. It was good advice.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 27th Sep 19, 1:07 AM
    • 14,098 Posts
    • 11,300 Thanks
    unholyangel
    OP, I tend to be more forgiving on this board because death affects us all in different ways but I think potentially you're in dire need of a reality check. I don't mean to be rude, but I do believe some things need to be quite blunt to get the point across, so....

    The executor is appointed by the will - not you. Their duty is to the estate, not you.

    By your own admission you could not afford to give up working, as you're relying on a future inheritance which you're not technically entitled to right now and which may fall through (I'll cover that in a minute). Yet you did. You are the residual beneficiary. That means you only inherit if there is residual - that is after the funeral, debts & specific gifts have been fully paid. What if unknown debts had popped up and wiped out most or all of the residual? The timeline executors usually allow for creditors to come forward is 6 months.

    The executor may already be in a sticky position if he is paying out money to the residuary beneficiary before settling those who are due to be paid before you. That is everyone btw - also why anything due would come out of your share with certainty and theres no need to debate what would be "fair", which subjective. Should it be a proportionate amount everyones inheritance is reduced by or the same amount each person or if there are items left are they to be valued (and how) and what happens if the person can't afford to pay their "fair" share?

    The buyers could take action against you for not completing but its rare. Your solicitor will be aware of circumstances so would be better placed to advise you on the chances of that.

    As for needing money, unfortunately this is one of the pitfalls of being self employed and why savings or other contingency measures are a necessity. But its unfair to blame the executor when it has not been caused by them. The fact that receiving your inheritance would resolve the issue does not make him at fault for you being in that position. Again, his duty is to the estate. Part of that duty may be to ensure the willed bequests are satisfied with reasonable care (which entails giving you money), but don't confuse that for having a duty to do whatever is best for you, particularly when you are back of the line in distribution.

    Take some responsibility for the situation you have created for yourself and learn from it. Don't count your chickens before they hatch.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • KK14
    • By KK14 18th Oct 19, 11:48 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    KK14
    Every situation is different when dealing with probate & executors & while I accept some points made on the forum are valid then others are definitely not.
    I made the decision to go ahead & purchase a house as prices in my area were rising rapidly to the point where I would not be able to buy a house & be mortgage free. This made sense to me & maybe in hindsight I could have waited till my late mum’s Property sale completed & then looked but we are talking 6 mths down the line now & prices have increased further.

    If you are self employed then you rely on every penny coming in to keep paying bills & rent - I haven’t bought a house in 20 yrs & there were very few delays that time but this time all we have had are delays. Once again, I was not expecting to be held up by 2 mths & pay over £1000 in additional rent.

    The executor has not done anything to help out the bungalow. What if I had refused to do it? Who would have done it then? It was my mum’s house so I didn’t feel I had a choice so I had to do it. And yes I gave up working opportunities to do so, I can’t see why I should be penalised to do so. The executor has become very awkward to deal with due to the DWP. If my mum has overpaid anything then it will not a huge amount of money & he is being completely over the top.
    • MumOf2
    • By MumOf2 21st Oct 19, 1:16 PM
    • 569 Posts
    • 977 Thanks
    MumOf2
    First of all, my sympathies to you on the loss of your mother. It's still early days and no doubt it's all raw still and emotions can run high at a time like this.

    Secondly, the executor is ultimately responsible for gathering in, reporting on and distributing the estate. It isn't a responsibility to take on lightly and the wording of DWP letters can come over as heavy handed and scary. No doubt he is very worried about this. As executor, he needs to ensure there are sufficient funds to reimburse DWP for any amounts they calculate as owing to them, also to ensure that ALL liabilities are settled from the estate before any distribution is made to ANY of the beneficiaries. If not, he is personally liable.

    Thirdly, sorting out your mother's house is just one of those tasks which children do for their parents. Time is usually an issue as many daughters and sons are working and/or have their own family responsibilities and/or live far away from their late-parent's house. And all this at a time when bereavement is still fresh and we are in the midst of deep grieving. I wouldn't expect help from anyone else at all. If it really is too onerous, there are clearance companies that come into a house as is and just take everything from the settee in the lounge to the knives and forks in a kitchen drawer. Everything. You don't even have to take the time to be there if they can gain access via a key security system and there's no house alarm to disarm and set.

    Finally, and with respect, you do come across as extremely angry about the whole situation you find yourself in. Really, please do try to step back and take a calmer approach to all this. Bereavement, especially relating to close family, is a dreadful time to go through and anger directed at the executor really won't help you at the moment.

    MumOf2
    x
    MumOf4
    Quit Date: 20th November 2009, 7pm

    • Skiddaw1
    • By Skiddaw1 21st Oct 19, 6:00 PM
    • 297 Posts
    • 429 Thanks
    Skiddaw1
    KK14, I think MumOf2's response is spot on.



    Only wanted to add that having been an executor myself (more than once), I can really understand why the executor doesn't want to distribute anything until all is settled. Things can (and do) pop out of the woodwork and, as has been said, the buck stops with the executor if anything is overlooked.



    You may be in a similar position yourself someday. It's frustrating I know, but it sounds to me that the executor is doing all they can to expedite the process. I think you need to cut some slack (and as MumOf2 says, step back a bit and take a few deep breaths). Sorry for your loss.
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