Outstanding debts of a relative


New member
Jun 25, 2020
Dad was moved to hospital and diagnosed with Alzheimers a year ago (later moved to Care Home) and when I got access to his house I found a number of unpaid utility bills and council tax. Despite numerous letters explaining he had Alzheimers, I was applying for Deputyship and recently announcing his death/awaiting Probate
the bills have steadily increased (even had bailiffs call during this time - absolutely uneccessary).

Made the situation clear and the house is unoccupied, am I entitled to a reduction in these
large bills as he had Alzheimers?

Thanks All and Stay Safe.


Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
hello @Trainbandit
a warm welcome to DTP

my condolences on the loss of your dad
it must be so tough on you, grieving but facing all this too

I'm not sure about being entitled to a reduction, though I am astounded that the Council and the Utility companies have not shown more understanding

if your dad was receiving Attendance Allowance, he would then have qualified for a disregard of Council Tax, it may be worth mentioning this to the Council

might you contact Citizens Advice and ask for their help, they will know the ins and outs of such situations


New member
Jun 25, 2020
Hi there, thanks for your reply. I find it frankly outrageous that energy suppliers in at least the UK can continue to increase the oustanding debts when relatives have done their best to pay up - as his son I filed for deputyship as soon as I could, then reported his death the following day and mum requested probate (they separated but were still married so legally all assets passed to her). Even since his death the amounts are increasing despite letter writing as I say the bailiffs called but I had told them the house was empty. The amount due is a quarter of my salary and while I would consider paying off and getting a receipt I'm told by Citizens Advice that solicitors want all details such as debts in front of them so we have to wait. I think the suppliers are heartless as they are punishing the weak and sick when there are dishonest people out there. Attendance Allowance dad did not have as he was uncooperative even before his diagnosis, he would hardly agree to anything to tell you the truth.


Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
West Hertfordshire
Can your mother not settle these debts?

Its unusual for utility companies to up the anti ( at least in my experience ) .

Is there very much outstanding?


New member
Jun 25, 2020
Around £5000 for all bills and the amount is still climbing, mother says she
is waiting to hear back from the solicitor so do not know how long that will take,
I have said ask can we pay before probate but mum has her doubts so we will see,
Thanks for your reply.


Registered User
Oct 25, 2019
North East England UK
We found after quite some time Mum could be disregarded for council tax as she had dementia and living permanently in care, the house was standing empty.
However the following year, anothter coincil tax demand arrived, with a letter asking her to complete an exemption form.
The utilities continued to send balilf around but as the house was empty there was no one to harras. It was incredibly stressful. Mum actually got a court summons for non payment of council tax, while she as in the care home that the same council had arranged for her. I suggest to pass it all to the solicitor.
Emty properties are still liable for council tax but the property pwner has to apply for an exemotion. A bit impossible if no one is living there.


New member
Jun 25, 2020
Thanks for your email, your story is pretty much the same for us. I have applied for an exemption around the time I told the council I was applying for deputyship but they still are asking for quite a bit in council tax, its unfortunately unavoidable that dementia sufferers just stop paying the bills one day. I still find it incredible that the debtors do not give much sympathy considering its happening all the time and I even had a statement from NHS which proved he had dementia.

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