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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9324
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My Father passed away in June, 2016. We declared all his

Customer Question

Hello,
My Father passed away in June, 2016. We declared all his estate when applying for probate.
We have sent back a questionnaire issued by the
DWP, and have been honest. Yes, he did appear to have more money in his account than he should have (to claim Pension Credit), but the account was only opened 3 years ago it seems. Until then, l think he saved at home for emergency bills, his funeral etc. He was 87 when he passed, and l think he only put this money into an account because the family feared for his safety.
What do you summise the DWP will want from us? Can you help please?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Apologies for the spelling/grammar errors. I was rushing, but obviously meant money he 'wasn't' supposed to have.
I wanted to add that he also knew he had an equity loan from the council to install new double glazing and roof work.
It was just under £12,000, and though he knew it could be paid from the estate, he wasn't happy with 'owing' (like other elderly people I expect). He didn't manage to pay it back however, we gave now done this.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 9 months ago.

Did your father leave any other assets?

What was the relevance of the account only being opened 3 years ago?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
His assets were his house, and money in his bank account, plus the savings account.
My brothers and l had told him that he shouldn't leave too much money in the house, as he was (then 83) and would sometimes leave his back door open. He dealt with his own finances, and we could only advise.
He appears to have opened this account about a year after we suggested this. He had taken an equity loan through a
government scheme to have double glazing fitted ( around 7 years ago), and l think his aim was to possibly save enough to pay it back before he passed.
This wasn't a requirement, but he was very 'old school', and really didn't like borrowing money.
I am really wondering whether it would have been necessary for him to inform the DWP if it was money saved for his future.
I am assuming he was in an Income Assessment Period, as he was about 84 when he opened this account.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 9 months ago.

Thank you.

It doesn’t matter why he saved the money, he has to declare it and if his saved money was over the relevant amount for any benefits he received, then he is no longer entitled to get that means tested benefit.

Hence, it may be that the Benefits people will want repayment of the benefit. If your father left no assets, then the debt dies with him.

Can I clarify anything for you? Please rate the service positive so that I get paid. We can still exchange emails. Best wishes. FES.

F E Smith and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
You could clarify this for me (DWP extract)
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Also..
if what you say is correct, hand on heart, we do not know whether all of this money was definitely saved at home.
We are only certain how much he had from the date the account opened.
Is this how far back they will look, if not, what will they want us to do?
It's a very sad time as it is, without all of this.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Obviously l assume he hadn't had to fill out a new form in the past 7 years (IAP).
Would they expect him to right monthly as he saved a bit more? ��
A bit confusing if you read the extract l just sent.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Mr Smith, l have rated you as requested, but really need answers to my follow up comments.
You do state that you are happy to exchange further emails on the subject.
Hope you reply as quickly as possible.
Thanks