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Can DWP claim an overpayment from an estate when there is only a house

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  • #16
    Re: Can DWP claim an overpayment from an estate when there is only a house

    A couple of further thoughts in case it's of any help:

    - You could contest the Will if you believe your mother didn't have mental capacity or was unduly influenced http://www.scottishwillservices.co.uk/contested.html (this would most likely be both expensive and harrowing)

    - It's probably worth contacting Ageuk - even if they can't advise after decease they may be able to point you to free legal advice or further enlightenment on your situation
    http://www.ageuk.org.uk/Documents/EN....pdf?dtrk=true

    My other thought was concerning the family living in the house. If the child has a disability there are usually societies and resources connected with specific disabilities and many of these have free legal helplines - worth exploring?

    Also (and I don't know how this would work, but others here might) - if you do have to sell the house, how about a local housing association buying it (or shared equity) and renting it back to the family with a secure tenancy?

    HTH x

    Comment


    • #17
      Re: Can DWP claim an overpayment from an estate when there is only a house

      Iona, you have a solicitor involved so make him/her work for their fees, YOU instruct them what you want done heed their advice but if you believe that more needs to done insist that is actioned.

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: Can DWP claim an overpayment from an estate when there is only a house

        Originally posted by nemesis45 View Post
        Iona, you have a solicitor involved so make him/her work for their fees, YOU instruct them what you want done heed their advice but if you believe that more needs to done insist that is actioned.
        Nemesis - if you are correct in your assumption that the "involved" solicitor is acting on the behalf of the OP entirely in her interests then I agree with you absolutely.

        ...but it's my understanding (maybe Iona will clarify) that the solicitor she mentions is not acting for her but for interests that may well conflict with hers (eg the Executor - the solicitor's own interests, having cocked up the Will of the deceased mother...)

        I also feel very annoyed with the solicitor who wrote the will for her, my mother would not listen to me I was only her daughter, but she would have listened to him as she saw him as someone of authority and if he had explained to her that she could not leave money she did not have she would instantly have believed him. I cannot understand why he did not try to find out what her assets actually were before listening to all her nonsense about leaving large legacies to charities.
        If anyone can give me any answers it would be much appreciated, under the circumstances finding money to pay yet more legal fees for help to sort this out is not an option right now.
        It is more of a problem because I am not the executor, this is one of my mothers fairweather friends hanging in there because of the legacy!! Not around for the 5 years of fees of course. But to discharge the executors I need to accept liability for any DWP repayment no matter how large.
        I am well aware of the fact that in all this his only concern is for himself as the executor and what he gets out of it all. But I don't want to sell the house and I just want to know if what he is saying is right. Can DWP force the sale of the house to recover what they consider to be an overpayment even when I am prepared to take full responsibility for the debt and in doing so discharge the executors.
        all of which would suggest that she is neither in a position to instruct, nor to trust, the solicitor "involved".

        Needless to say, I hope very much that you're right and I'm wrong on this x

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: Can DWP claim an overpayment from an estate when there is only a house

          Sadly MissFM I think you are right, the sol is working for the estate.

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: Can DWP claim an overpayment from an estate when there is only a house

            Originally posted by nemesis45 View Post
            Iona, you have a solicitor involved so make him/her work for their fees, YOU instruct them what you want done heed their advice but if you believe that more needs to done insist that is actioned.
            Ahh if only, it seems the solicitor is only working for the executors, I am the residuary beneficiary and not the client. The solicitor will not in fact do anything for me, conflict of interest I am told so I have to instruct yet another solicitor to act for me. I am not entirely sure why there is a conflict of interest or even how but it seems there is??

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: Can DWP claim an overpayment from an estate when there is only a house

              Thank you everyone you have been very helpful and I really appreciate the time you have taken to reply to me. It has helped me to sort out in my mind what I need to do. I will certainly ask for a complete breakdown from DWP of their calculations. I will not take anything as accurate until I check it all myself.

              I have a complete record of every transaction and every payment I made for my mother so hopefully that will help when I do have to face sitting down and working my way through their calculations. Not a job I am looking forward to, but if I don't do that I will never be satisfied that what I am being asked to pay is correct. It's just not something I was expecting to be faced with, especially when there were so many people involved in all the assessments for my mother. I really do think that at least one of them should have realised there was something wrong with the amounts she was receiving.

              As for contesting the will as someone mentioned, I can't face that and I doubt if it would be successful. I do think my mother's judgement was way off being sensible when she made the will, but that was not entirely abnormal for my mother it had just became worse with age. It is a mess I am going to have to work my way through and my own retirement has faded so far into the distance I think it will be a while before I see light at the end of the tunnel. As long as it is actually daylight and retirement and not another train coming.

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: Can DWP claim an overpayment from an estate when there is only a house

                If you believe and I think you do that the solicitor is acting unfairly report this to the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Can DWP claim an overpayment from an estate when there is only a house

                  Well I know this is a long time down the line from my original post, but I thought that I would update this with the final results of the process.

                  I had to pay DWP 27,460.00 it was as bad as I had anticipated. They refused completely to provide a breakdown just gave a total and said it was over payment of two benefits. The solicitor did lodge an appeal but it was refused and basically I was so stressed and tired out with it all I just wanted it paid and over with. They have now been paid in full, all the legacies have also been paid. I have worked night and day doing 2 jobs for the last 2 years to achieve this, I am exhausted and totally broke but the nightmare is over. Just a final bill to the Solicitor to pay and I can start to breathe again. Now I just need to pay all my own bills.

                  I am now 66 and have serious and very debilitating health problems, my husband is nearly 70 and recovering from prostate cancer. We don't see our retirement ever happening, it is going to take us years to recover. We have had between 3 parents, 8 years of top up fees for 2 after the money from the sale of their house ran out, then 5 years of full nursing home fees for 1 to pay. I still think this is such an injustice when people who don't own their property and don't have a large bank balance are not required to pay a penny towards their fees. I do think these people should have their fees paid, they need the care and I am not complaining about that. But I don't think that people like our parents with very little money who struggled all their lives to buy their homes should have to pay, just because they provided their own roof over their heads. It is completely wrong.

                  Our parents bought their homes because they were for whatever reason not entitled to a council house, they were not wealthy people, they just needed somewhere decent to live and bring up their families. My husband's parents were on a council housing list for over 30 years and never once were they offered a house, even when they were homeless in the 1950's with young children. They initially lived in lots of different rented flats, until they could not stand the constant uncertainty of never knowing when they would be out on the street again if the lease was not renewed. So during the 1960's they very nervously took a mortgage (that was a terrifying commitment for many back then) and bought their own flat, then lost it at the end of their lives to pay for their care.

                  There are a lot of injustices in this world and I know there are many people around the world much worse off than we are, but it does not alter my feelings about the unfairness of this system in the UK. However I just have to cope with my health problems and keep going to work every day. Yes I know I am fortunate to still have a job, but I would give it up right now and hand it all over to someone young, if only I had not been left now with my own debts to pay, which I have incurred while struggling to pay nursing homes and everything else that followed their deaths.

                  There is one thing I plan to make sure of and that is that my family have Power of Attorney for both of us. We never ever in a million years want to put our family through what we have been through with our parents and for me anyway I think a short stay in Switzerland will be carefully planned.

                  Thank you very much to everyone who read though and commented on my questions, it really helped me to sort out in my own mind what I needed to do and I have eventually succeeded.
                  Last edited by iona; 3rd June 2016, 02:29:AM.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Can DWP claim an overpayment from an estate when there is only a house

                    I can't thank you enough for updating us on this matter, I am though totally devastated at the way things have turned out for you and yours.
                    The DWP have a job to do, how they go about it though sometimes is beyond belief.
                    The do gooders who try to get all the benefits for the elderly are correct in what they do, sadly the elderly do not always own up to what they already have albeit intentionally or not. The 4 benefits you mentioned AA, mobility component and state pension are all allowed when you are self funding, the only one that could have been overpaid was pension credit, this can also be claimed if you fit the criteria.
                    If and when the money gets to a certain level (23k) or so now then reassessment should come in and as the money dwindles then the less you pay towards your care.
                    If a time came when your mum was LA funded then all those benefits should have either stopped or gone to the LA towards the funding.
                    Anyway I am waffling on and as we have just done exactly the same and placed MIL in a care home I have had to look at ways and means of sorting out the funding without losing her house. We are renting it out and with her benefits will just about cover the cost.

                    I do wish you a long, happy and healthy retirement when its happens and you are so right, get your will and LPAs sorted while you are able.
                    Good Luck and once again thanks for the update.
                    Enaid x

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: Can DWP claim an overpayment from an estate when there is only a house

                      Originally posted by iona View Post
                      Well I know this is a long time down the line from my original post, but I thought that I would update this with the final results of the process.

                      I had to pay DWP 27,460.00 it was as bad as I had anticipated. They refused completely to provide a breakdown just gave a total and said it was over payment of two benefits. The solicitor did lodge an appeal but it was refused and basically I was so stressed and tired out with it all I just wanted it paid and over with. They have now been paid in full, all the legacies have also been paid. I have worked night and day doing 2 jobs for the last 2 years to achieve this, I am exhausted and totally broke but the nightmare is over. Just a final bill to the Solicitor to pay and I can start to breathe again. Now I just need to pay all my own bills.

                      I am now 66 and have serious and very debilitating health problems, my husband is nearly 70 and recovering from prostate cancer. We don't see our retirement ever happening, it is going to take us years to recover. We have had between 3 parents, 8 years of top up fees for 2 after the money from the sale of their house ran out, then 5 years of full nursing home fees for 1 to pay. I still think this is such an injustice when people who don't own their property and don't have a large bank balance are not required to pay a penny towards their fees. I do think these people should have their fees paid, they need the care and I am not complaining about that. But I don't think that people like our parents with very little money who struggled all their lives to buy their homes should have to pay, just because they provided their own roof over their heads. It is completely wrong.

                      Our parents bought their homes because they were for whatever reason not entitled to a council house, they were not wealthy people, they just needed somewhere decent to live and bring up their families. My husband's parents were on a council housing list for over 30 years and never once were they offered a house, even when they were homeless in the 1950's with young children. They initially lived in lots of different rented flats, until they could not stand the constant uncertainty of never knowing when they would be out on the street again if the lease was not renewed. So during the 1960's they very nervously took a mortgage (that was a terrifying commitment for many back then) and bought their own flat, then lost it at the end of their lives to pay for their care.

                      There are a lot of injustices in this world and I know there are many people around the world much worse off than we are, but it does not alter my feelings about the unfairness of this system in the UK. However I just have to cope with my health problems and keep going to work every day. Yes I know I am fortunate to still have a job, but I would give it up right now and hand it all over to someone young, if only I had not been left now with my own debts to pay, which I have incurred while struggling to pay nursing homes and everything else that followed their deaths.

                      There is one thing I plan to make sure of and that is that my family have Power of Attorney for both of us. We never ever in a million years want to put our family through what we have been through with our parents and for me anyway I think a short stay in Switzerland will be carefully planned.

                      Thank you very much to everyone who read though and commented on my questions, it really helped me to sort out in my own mind what I needed to do and I have eventually succeeded.
                      I am so sorry for your situation. May I ask have you paid all of the virtually 30k to DWP in full? Did they have a right to that 30k? For instance, 1) DWP have to prove there has been an overpayment. 2) The overpayment must not be DWP claimant's fault. So an overpayment by claimant here would include failure to inform of a change in circumstance. If it was DWP's fault in part you could have challenged either part or all of the overpayment. It may alternatively have been fraud. 3) DWP, by law, has to prove you were overpaid to the exact detail and you had the right to request a break-down. However, no matter what DWP did not have the power to force you to sell the mother's family home and would have had to make a claim to local court like other alleged debtors. Alternatively, depending how bad your mother's health was and the time or at any point during her incapacity or when an LPA was appointed, she could have successfully argued she did not have capacity (mental functioning to deal with her personal affairs, ie money, assets) when the alleged overpayments were made.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: Can DWP claim an overpayment from an estate when there is only a house

                        Done and dusted OPENLAW think the OP wants no more of this

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: Can DWP claim an overpayment from an estate when there is only a house

                          Originally posted by wales01man View Post
                          Done and dusted OPENLAW think the OP wants no more of this
                          I don't know what her solicitor said about this DWP claim but I wouldn't have parted with a penny unless DWP could prove all the criteria I stated. It may not be done and dusted as if DWP has abused their powers, am not certain of this but through the Parliament Ombudsman DWP's actions could be investigated which may mean some of the money could be claimed back.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: Can DWP claim an overpayment from an estate when there is only a house

                            Money could be claimed back? Yes if the OP wants years more of fighting as she says she has many other problems now I for one think if there was an easy way to get some back they would have been advised how to .

                            Sometimes in life us mere mortals five up for an easy life stress is not worth having

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Re: Can DWP claim an overpayment from an estate when there is only a house

                              Originally posted by wales01man View Post
                              Money could be claimed back? Yes if the OP wants years more of fighting as she says she has many other problems now I for one think if there was an easy way to get some back they would have been advised how to .

                              Sometimes in life us mere mortals five up for an easy life stress is not worth having
                              If the Parl. Ombudsman situation applies it could be over in less than 9 months, not years. It's a simple process, apply to MP and explain situation. Parl Ombudsman looks at DWP law and if DWP have made errors in law or in the Op's fact, they can have that decision looked at again. If any payments were taken illegally (in the civil sense, ie outside DWP's powers), said actions could be taken.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Re: Can DWP claim an overpayment from an estate when there is only a house

                                Originally posted by Openlaw15 View Post
                                If the Parl. Ombudsman situation applies it could be over in less than 9 months, not years. It's a simple process, apply to MP and explain situation. Parl Ombudsman looks at DWP law and if DWP have made errors in law or in the Op's fact, they can have that decision looked at again. If any payments were taken illegally (in the civil sense, ie outside DWP's powers), said actions could be taken.
                                Read the OP's post openlaw!!

                                nem

                                Comment

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