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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33298
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My mother died 5 years ago , although it was left to the three

Customer Question

My mother died 5 years ago , although it was left to the three of us jointly, my 2 brothers continue to live in her house as it was my mother's wish that my younger brother especially , should be allowed to live on in the house for a decent amount of time.(Nothing was written down.) We now feel the time has come for the house to be sold. We are all joint executors but we have not even started probate yet. We need to sort this probate thing out. Whilst we are doing this , before it is actually settled , can I continue to claim Housing Benefit and Employment and Support Allowance (at the house I have lived in separately for 28 years) until my mother's is eventually sold? (As I have been doing over the past 5 years - I am disabled.) If I can't ,at what point do I have to inform them? (The HB and / or ESA people. Which? Both? ) And what will happen?
When it is sold, as it could be said , I have technically been a one third owner of a property for 5 years ; will I owe the government any money? ( For benefits I have received in those 5 years.) Thus far I have not received anything from the estate but I do realise that once I have received my share I will have to stop claiming benefits. (Won't I?) Have I broken any rules / laws? The house is worth less than the inheritance tax threshold.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How much is the property worth and is there a mortgage?
What other assets are there?
Was there actually a Will?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello Clare,

Thank you for your response. To answer your question I first looked up prices on zoopla. Prices in the area have gone up a lot since my mother died. I would say it is probably worth between 285 and 315 thousand .There is some work that needs to be done on the house which if imprudent to do so could be left out and taken off of the asking price. (if the house was eventually sold for more than £325,000 - the point at which inheritance tax comes into play would this make any difference apart from having to pay the tax?)

There is a small mortgage , due to a loan made by my mother to one of my brothers (There is nothing written down) which me and my other brother expect to be repaid to us after the sale of the house.

There are no other assets. There was a will left which made myself and both brothers equal beneficiaries and joint executors.

Please could you inform me as to whether any of your questions have a bearing on my having collected benefits since the death of my mother or continuing to do so until her estate is settled.

Thank you.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Pressed the wrong button no additional information required at the moment thank you

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
You will not be liable to refund any monies to the government as at present you have not actually received any funds - and the Will has not yet been "proved" - so the asset is not available to you.
You will certainly no longer be eligible for Housing benefit - you may still be eligible for ESA if it is contribution rather than Income based.
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Please bear with me. I am intending to give you a good feedback but could you just tell me : In this context could you please explain what the word "proved" means? Does the fact that i have not actually received any monies definitely mean i will not owe the government any cash as regards ***** ***** benefit so far? And can I continue claiming until the probate is over? I haven't got any cash to live on otherwise. At what exact point do I have to stop claiming or tell them? When I do "the Blah! Blah! Blah"? or when I get the "whatever" letter? When the probate is officially done? (how will i know?) or indeed when I get some of the money from the sale of the house? The main things are , are you DEFINITELY sure I will not be owing the government any money? Can I carry on claiming? And what does"proved" mean?.......Thank you

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I am sorry - that was Jargon and a bad habit.
In this case "Proved" means having gone through Probate
When you get the Probate notify the authorities that you WILL be receiving monies when the house is sold - you will receive your benefits until you do since the property is lived in by your brothers and is being marketed
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

How do i "get" the probate , is it granted to me in letter form or will I be given a date when probate is officially granted. I have a probate pack on the way to me and i intend to do it myself. Will i be officially informed as to when the probate is proved. When I have "got" the probate , the will is "proved" and I have notified the authorities that i WILL be receiving some monies , will i continue to be able to receive benefits up until the point that the house is actually sold , and some money is actually in my bank account? Do I , in fact , actually have to tell them anything? For example , legally , is there a point at which I can just simply cease claiming?

Sorry to be a pain but can i ask again , are you DEFINITELY sure I will not be owing the government any money?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Do you have the Original Will in your possession?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No. I have gone through some paperwork and i have found a letter from the will writing service she used. I have just phoned them.They are now going to get her will out of secure storage and on receipt of a letter from myself they will be sending it to me. My mother always made it plain that the money would be split 3 ways - Full stop!

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Once you have the Will you and your brothers will have to complete the forms and then attend the Probate Registry together
Clare

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