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DWP priority in relation to claim on estate

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  • DWP priority in relation to claim on estate

    Hi there -

    I'd be very thankful if one of you help with the following.

    Probate has been granted on my late father's estate but the DWP are now making a claim in regards to Pension credits. I won't go into detail about the particular situation as there would appear to be many instances / threads on the forum of the pain that beneficiaries are going through with this. However I do have a couple of questions.

    1) The solicitors dealing with the estate asked for their fees to be paid prior to probate being granted. I did pay personally without checking but should the solicitors have taken their fees from the estate's assets instead? Prior to this all my father cash assets had been transferred to the solicitor's account - certainly enough to pay their fees.

    2) The sum the DWP 'might' claim if proven will in all eventuality be a lot less than the value of the estate. Irrespective of this can funeral costs and legal admin fees be paid out of the estate monies now? There is easily enough in the pot and a property is also part of the estate which will be sold. The solicitors have said they can't make an interim payment until the DWP agree they have no claim or have had their 'pound of flesh'. Is this actually correct? Don't funeral costs and admin fees take priority?

    Thanks a lot.
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  • #2
    Hi Atricky1,
    Glad youíve found some useful information already. As far as solicitors fees are concerned you should be reimbursed these from the estate funds. They will probably do this when the distribute or you could ask them for the refund if they have already realised sufficient assets. The fees are a testamentary expense of the estate.
    Funeral costs are also a testamentary expense and so should be paid from the estate. You donít have to wait for the DWP to finalise their figures and it would also make no difference if insufficient funds were left to repay the DWP, although DWP would take preference over lesser creditors, if any. The testamentary expenses should be paid.
    Hope this helps.
    I am a qualified solicitor and am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

    If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.


    • #3
      Peridot - that's great information. Thanks so much!


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