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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71042
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My mother died on 27th February. She was in care which was

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My mother died on 27th February. She was in care which was paid for by her. We had asked for NHS continuing care which was granted on 9th January but we were not informed til September 26th. When we apopllied for a refund of care fees; witnessed by a JP we were told that we have to have Letters of Administration? My mother left a Will with two executors and two witnesses to the Will. Since her death the Will has been dealt with by the Executors 9my brother and sister). Not much money left as she had been paying for her care for several years. What was left was divided equally between those mentioned in the Will - my mothers children. Why would we need Letters of Administration before the NHS repays the care fees? If the NHS had advised us on time, the issue would have been dealt with whilst she was alive by myself, as Power of Attorney for her.Please advise
Denise Woods

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

How much is to be refunded?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hello. It is only £2100, given the time between the date agreed and her death.

Thanks for the information.

To ask you to apply to the probate Registry for letters of administration for this is a nonsense if your mother left a very small estate.

If this money was in the bank, They would normally deal with it under the small state rules which allow a nominated person to swear a statutory declaration confirming that they will distribute the money in accordance with the deceased's wishes and also that they are entitled to receive and deal with the money.

Obviously this person at the Council is not aware of this and you may want to enlighten them.

If they dig their heels then then you can make a formal complaint and also complain to the local government ombudsman.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you so much for your help.

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’.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hello Jo.
I do not know whether you can help again. We have tried, again, to ask why they expected us to go to Probate for return of cash, which would not have been necessary, if they had advised us on time of the decision for continuing care. In any case we had not had to go to Probate. I asked for a copy of the Policy/Service document which covers these rules, as the claim form had simply asked for a copy of Probate if it had been necessary. The administrator told us that they did not have such documents and the small estates act does not apply to the NHS. They will not now do anything unless we seek probate. As a family we are concerned at how many times this has happened to people who are less able to confront such issues and just give up leaving the funds in the continuing care coffers. We suspect that they are acting illegally and need to know what you think. They are withholding cash which was wrongly paid to them whilst my mother was alive, because they withheld the decision from the family for eight months. Can you advise?

I can look at this in the morning if thats OK?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you . Will wait to hear from you. There is no urgency.
Thank you. Unfortunately, any organisation is able to insist on grant of probate. In reality, they don't subject to certain limits and I think that NHS is being completely unreasonable.

They can deal with this if they wish without grant of probate.

This link from the law society explains more

Under the paragraph headed "When a grant of representation is needed", although it mentions a figure of £5000, most banks and other institutions will not require probate up to £15,000 or even £20,000.

The only way of contesting this with NHS is to apply for judicial review which you have to do within three months of NHS making the decision. The grounds for judicial review are that the NHS were acting illegally, irrationally, all with some kind of procedural impropriety. If the application for judicial review is successful, the NHS will review the policy although ultimately, it may decide that it is acting correctly.

You would need to put aside about £10,000 as the potential cost risk for applying for judicial review. For that reason therefore it is actually going to be quicker and cheaper simply to apply for the grant of probate.

And sorry that this is bad news for you
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