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DWP investigation in possible overpayment of pension credit

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  • DWP investigation in possible overpayment of pension credit

    Is it standard practice for the DWP to investigate the estate of a deceased person who was in receipt of a means tested benefit in case there has been an overpayment?

    If this is the case should the solicitor handling the probate actively contact the DWP or should they leave it until the DWP contacts them?
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  • #2
    Re: DWP investigation in possible overpayment of pension credit

    I understand that DWP investigate estates over a certain amount if the deceased was in receipt of means tested benefits.
    There is no reason for the solicitor (is he executor or acting on behalf of executor?) to contact DWP

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    • #3
      Re: DWP investigation in possible overpayment of pension credit

      My mother passed away in Feb 2014 an I am sole benifciary. We appointed a solicitor to handle the will and probate and they told us it should be done by August. Several errors/setbacks occurred on their part but we were told at end of October it was ready and we would shortly get a closing statement.

      Before this could happen they received a letter from DWP advising them not to distribute estate yet as there MAY have been an overpayment.

      Here we are 9 months over due and we still have no idea when it will be finalised and if we owe anything.

      The solicitor was aware of the size of the estate (not much really) and the mum was in receipt of pension credit, they also know the law (hopefully) and the procedure. Why would it be left for the for DWP to contact them? Would it not have been better to be proactive with the DWP at the start so the process could run concurrently and this would have been sorted roughly to the original deadline??

      I am in limbo and very stressed by this.

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      • #4
        Re: DWP investigation in possible overpayment of pension credit

        Sorry to hear it is stressing you but really there is nothing to be done until the DWP finish their investigations.
        There is no time limit for DWP, (nor in fact for the executor).
        It takes as long as it takes

        You might find this link to a Freedom of Information request And subsequent response useful: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/statutory_powers

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        • #5
          Re: DWP investigation in possible overpayment of pension credit

          Thanks. I feel extremely let down by the solicitor. They are charging the earth to sort out what they admit is a very straight forward estate yet despite the fact that they knew that the DWP would want to investigate didn't take any of this into account when telling me that it should all be sorted out within 6 months. Why did they not pass info onto DWP early on so that it could be dealt with concurrently with the other wok that needed doing? That way it would have been resolved roughly when they told me it would. I honestly think I could have done the probable myself given the amount of chasing and legwork I have undertaken.

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          • #6
            Re: DWP investigation in possible overpayment of pension credit

            The DWP are a law unto themselves. To be fair to your solicitors it would probably have had no effect contacting DWP.

            " I honestly think I could have done the probable myself given the amount of chasing and legwork I have undertaken." You're learning:tinysmile_hmm_t2:

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            • #7
              Re: DWP investigation in possible overpayment of pension credit

              Probate was started at beginning of March and due to be completed by September at the latest. DWP wrote to solicitor in September and that whole process has delayed things by 8 months at this stage due to backlog. If solicitor had been proactive in March it might have gotten resolved roughly on schedule.

              Bereavement is hard to deal with without all the stress of endless forms so decided it would be best to let an 'expert' deal with it. I furnished them with all the info they needed in a prompt and organised manner and thought that I could just let them get on with it. How wrong I was. Endlessly chasing things that hadn't been done or done late. Absolutely f@cking had it with them!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: DWP investigation in possible overpayment of pension credit

                DWP contacted me when Aunt died with 27k (we applied for Letters of Administration & apparently they are notified then by the Probate Office??). I was asked to go back 8 years to when she made her initial claim & get a copy of her bank statements for a precise date. In their own letter they stated "banks usually keep records for up to 6 years", so it was a bit stupid to write that whilst stating I should go back 8 years!

                Barclays were excellent I have to say, very quickly they sent me blinking hundreds of double sided copies of her accounts for the whole past 6 years. Thankfully it was clear even then that she had no money so her benefits were justified..........but it became those she was saving, just couldn't get out of the habit of living like a pauper on a shoestring.

                DWP added about 2 months to the probate process, but everything was pretty much wrapped up (estate income/expenditure all sorted) in about 3-4 months total. DiY, no solicitor involved, not in their best interests to get a move on with every minute invoiced!

                Comment

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