DWP query on deceased mother's accounts

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by Pear trees, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. Pear trees

    Pear trees Registered User

    Jan 25, 2015
    442
    My mother died just over a year ago and the solicitor is handling probate. As my mother received pension credit and attendance allowance as well as her normal pension the DWP are scrutinizing all her accounts.
    I kept records of all purchase I made for her (care fees, food orders, utility bills etc).
    However I occasionally transferred a small amount of £75 to my own account to cover small incidental purchases of toiletries, food and hospital parking for which I did not keep receipts. I understood this amount was allowed by DWP who are now querying the transfers and want more details.
    I have explained this to the solicitor.
    I am unsure how to prove how money was spent without receipts, I an happy to repay such small amounts to help finalise probate.
    My brother 'borrowed' thousands from my mother before I had POA, and has been demanding his share of the estate.
     
  2. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    1,129
    In my experience all the DWP are interested in is the refund of any overpayment, due to date of death.

    Bod
     
  3. love.dad.but..

    love.dad.but.. Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    4,378
    Kent
    If at the time your mother was entitled to AA and pension credit it is likely the DWP are just checking for overpayment due to date of death. I had to repay a small amount following both my mum's and dad's death.
     
  4. Pear trees

    Pear trees Registered User

    Jan 25, 2015
    442
    Thanks for your replies. The DWP seem to.he going through all my Mum's accounts and the one I used for her pension credit and AA allowance for any unusual outgoings, and unfortunately have chosen the ones that I do not have receipts for.
    I have never used mum's money for myself, and am regretting not keeping even better track of small things I bought for her and then transferred money to my account.
    This is giving me sleepless nights, especially since my brother is chasing both me and the solicitor for his money and is unwilling to understand that this can take ages to resolve.
     
  5. la lucia

    la lucia Registered User

    Jul 3, 2011
    591
    Hold on... It's no flipping business of the DWP what the money is spent on it's irrelevant and not in their remit.

    They can investigate if your mum had a secret source of income (that would invalidate her pension credit or whatever) and they can look for overpayment or anything paid after death but nothing else.

    Meanwhile, even someone like the Court of Protection or the OPG aren't going to quibble over relatively small amounts being transferred to your account. That's life.

    Sometimes you have to pay for things upfront or whatever. You don't need receipts for everything just for large amounts. I started off keeping every receipt and then it got out of hand and so I asked the OPG who told me it was unnecessary for day-to-day things.

    I constantly swap our phone/Internet/TV from my mother to me (ha... then we are always new customers) and when it's in my name I reimburse my account via a direct debit from hers.

    I think you need some advice from someone like Citizens Advice and asap. If you have any of the letters from the DWP to your mother that should help but do get some back up pronto because this doesn't seem right at all..

    And the DWP strangely have a tendency to behave if they know you have a professional on board. They are bullies and in the last few years, since a lot of the work is outsourced to private companies, I hear they've become much worse.
     
  6. love.dad.but..

    love.dad.but.. Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    4,378
    Kent
    I agree...once found to be eligible for pension credit and AA...none of their business what your mum or her chosen representative...you...spends the money on for her care. Unless they think fund info was not fully declared at the time of assessment for pension credit...AA was not means tested for dad and assume still the same.
     
  7. nita

    nita Registered User

    Dec 30, 2011
    1,790
    Female
    Essex
    My mother was in receipt of Pension Credit Savings Credit, a smaller benefit than Pension Credit. When she died, she had considerably more savings than when she first received the benefit in 2003, I think it was, which was when it was created. As she was bed bound for the last 3 and a half years, I was not spending much of her income, apart from night clothes, bed linen, incontinence products and luxuries for her, etc.

    When the DWP received details of her probate, I had to provide bank statements to prove she had savings less than £6,000. Her current account wasn't a problem but I think she had a pass book savings account with a building society and I had not got details of this account, neither the pass book nor the account number. But, as I pointed out to the DWP, they must have had details of this account with a very small amount of money in it, at the time she applied.

    In any case, I was able to provide details from later years when she was still under the limit of savings allowed.

    I had kept a check on her savings over the years to make sure they didn't exceed the £6,000. I had also kept all her DWP letters and my correspondence with them. At some point she was granted an Assessed Income period which meant she didn't have to provide details of changes in the level of her savings. However, I was concerned about this and did update them several times, first when her savings went above 10k, then later as they climbed. I had copies of these letters on my computer.

    I made up a spreadsheet detailing her accounts and income over the years (they already knew what her state pension payments were so, it was just a question of her small occupational pension) and assets. I had to dig out all old savings statements. Fortunately, I had kept all the relevant documents apart from her current account back that far. I asked the bank for copies.

    I then wrote a letter, together with the spreadsheet and copy documents (they didn't ask for all the savings statements) and sent it to Recovery from Estates and also copied it to the Pension Credit department because they didn't seem to be liaising with each other!

    I was annoyed that they had asked for all this proof of savings as they hadn't asked for it during her lifetime. It's as if they seize any opportunity to suggest you have been illegally claiming benefits and to recover money they have paid. I can understand they have a duty to make sure taxpayers' money is not being misused but then why don't they make the relevant checks at the time instead of hounding bereaved relatives. It causes a lot of stress.

    I won't go into the overpayment/underpayment of Attendance Allowance saga! Different departments of the DWP don't talk to each other so I was still being questioned about this a year after my mother's death when the matter had been successfully resolved. In fact, I had paid back too much and they had owed my mother's estate part of her AA.

    I've just told you my story to explain how to resolve this issue. Hope it helps.
     
  8. Pear trees

    Pear trees Registered User

    Jan 25, 2015
    442
    Thank you for your replies. The DWP have asked the solicitor to obtain my mum's account balances to check she was entitled to pension credit at the time of assessment in 2012. This was done by a social worker shortly after her diagnosis who was satisfied after seeing mum's statements and bank books that she qualified as her savings were under the limit.
    It looks like the DWP are checking for any undisclosed accounts to see if mum''s money was over the limit and an overpayment has been made.
     
  9. Pear trees

    Pear trees Registered User

    Jan 25, 2015
    442
    Since my last post our solicitor replied mid November with all the info we could supply. Two months later we are still waiting for a reply. I have since heard that it can take a over a year to resolve even relatively simple claims due to backlog and staff shortages. I was hoping it could be resolved by May, within a year.
    Our solicitor does everything she can to contact them for update. My brother is now demanding his remaining money and refuses to accept delay is out of our hands.
     
  10. love.dad.but..

    love.dad.but.. Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    4,378
    Kent
    Tell him to contact the solicitor and any costs incurred by the solicitor for addressing his demand will be deducted from his share of estate proceeds!
     
  11. Pear trees

    Pear trees Registered User

    Jan 25, 2015
    442
    Great idea, Love Dad! He won't do anything that reduces his share.
    I can't wait to tell my money grabbing little brother who did not even visit mum for over 5 years to go away in Anglo Saxon as soon as all this is finished.
    I don't think estates recovery appreciate or are even concerned just how much grief they cause families at an already difficult time
     
  12. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    4,624
    USA
    @Pear trees, I'm sorry you are still waiting, but even sorrier your brother is still being so unreasonable and unpleasant.
     

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