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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69258
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Do the dwp automatically get a copy of any will when someone

Customer Question

Do the dwp automatically get a copy of any will when someone dies to see if any of the beneficiaries are claiming benefits?
Also is there a way round this ie. Leave it all to in my case my sister and then have an agreement between us so I'm never named?
I have a health condition so can only work part time.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

My father is in poor health and was going to change his will and leave everything to my sister and then she would give it to me in a few thousand here and there so I and my partner would not lose work related benefits childcare etc. Would she be penalised for this or is there a better way?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I see.

They do not automatically get copies of wills but the risk is that they will find out about this by other means.

I'm afraid there is no way around this now though. The DWP have closed up the loopholes. If you are a beneficiary of your father's will then that would have to be declared. If your sister gives you money then that would have to be declared.

It used to be possible to set up a trust for somebody else but even that has been closed up now.

If the DWP are alerted to your situation and they notice that your sister is giving you money in this way then they will fairly quickly start alleging benefit fraud. They have financial investigators with nothing else to do and money always leaves a paper trail.

The only way to keep benefits is to abandon all claim upon the will - presuming, of course, it exceeds the required sum and you are receiving a means tested benefit.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


so unofficially really I would be better off being written out of the will and then taking a chance on monies filtered through to me in small amounts as it would never have been in my name in the first place?

I know legally you can't condone it but would you say that's my best option if I want to take the chance?

If I'm removed how really will they ever know?

If my name is XXXXX XXXXX from the start surely that's the worst of two evils as it's on paper and will be read out.

the amount we are talking is only about 50000 but still over the 16000 threshold. I'm not looking for you to tell me what to do but under the circumstances would you say that's my best chance?

Could you be more specific please about how they would know my sister is giving it to me in dribs and drabs rather than for instance spending it on her house renovations etc... especially if nobody else dwp wise is aware?

Thank you.

ps. What if he left my half to my 2 year old daughter and I would be the sole signatory? How would that work?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No, you cannot do that because that would be fraud.

I cannot advise you on the best way to commit a fraud I'm afraid.

Whether you receive this money from your sister or in trust for your daughter, it will need to be declared to the DWP and it will reduce your benefits if you are on a means tested benefit.

There is no way of avoiding that now.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Leaving the fraud bit aside then if my dad left my half to my daughter and I spent money on her through myself while she was 18... and obviously I would leave some capital for her then... would that be ok and would it be ok benefits wise as I have not gained any inheritance on paper? Please be aware I'm not asking you how best to commit fraud. I wouldn't expect you to do that. I have a lifelong medical condition/disability and can only work part time, as can my partner, and we have to rely on in work means tested benefits to top up. I'm just trying to do the best financially long term for my family and looking at various options.

Your advice is very much appreciated thanks.

Please supply a bit more on how it would work legally regarding my daughter then I'll leave it at that thanks.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

The DWP would say that the money is really for your benefit and so it would reduce your benefits.

I'm really sorry but you just plain cannot protect these funds in the way you are hoping to do now. It used to be possible to set up a trust but they have clamped down upon that now too. I suppose some people were exploiting it.

The only way to avoid loss of benefits is to refuse the money in the will entirely and not accept it from any source.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

How would they say it's for my benefit though if he leaves it to her?

Surely it's her money as he wanted to leave it to her so how could I be penalised because of his wishes? Don't really understand that to be honest as it's not my choice?

Plus would it be all benefits or just a percentage if the amount was 50k? Can we just iron this out please then I'll bid you good night.


Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Because they will say that you are using it for your benefit or its available for your benefit and sometimes they even go so far as to say that the trust has been set up to defraud the DWP. They can be quite blunt sometimes!

I'm really sorry but there is no way of retaining a large cash sum and claiming a means tested benefit.

if the amount was £50 k then you would lose all means tested benefits until you have spent under £16k and then it would be a sliding scale until you get to £6k when they would be revived.

Any non means tested benefits will not be affected obviously.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

So they'd 100% say it was for my use then... no compromise.. if he left it to her...regardless if I had access to it or not? Can't see how that's fair really. They are just thinking the worst straight away!

Sorry just need to be crystal clear on this one as I'd rather her have it all than them.

No loopholes or common sense from them round this one at all?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
It may not be fair. I'm not sure the benefit system is really about fairness particularly not at the moment.

I have never seen a case where they accepted that a person on a means tested benefit was able to hold on trust a large sum of money for a child in recent years.

The trust used to be very effective and, in fairness, when used properly was the right thing to do. I suppose some people exploited it and they have cracked down.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Prob leave her a small sum then... 5 to 10k which doesn't look too bad. 5-10 k for my nephew... his grandson then at least it will knock a bit more off his capital so less for me to lose?... taking the above benefit threshold figs into account. Does that kind of thing sound sensible?

goodnight and thanks for the advice.

I'll rate you after this. :-)

Cheers again.


Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
If he wants to chase his will in favour of the grandchildren then he is free to do that.

The only sum the DWP would consider is that in trust for children in your custody and control .

He is perfectly free to do that.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

No problem and all the best.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69258
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for the positive rating and remember that I am always available to help with your questions. For future information, please start your question with ‘FOR JO C’. You can also bookmark my profile

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