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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71145
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Complex question - My half sister is currently on benefits

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Complex question - My half sister is currently on benefits from the state. She recently inherited a large sum of money £200,000.00 and a house worth £250,000.00. She is the only named executor of the Will in question and the only named beneficiary of that will.

She has not put the estate in her name yet as she is worried that she would then need to sign off immediately and give up her council property. Although highly educated, she is currently not working and suffers from severe depression and alcohol abuse which has prevented her from going back to work.

She wants to know if she could put the house in another persons name, have them rent it out to tenants without this affecting her benefits for now until she has worked out what she really wants to do/ can do interns of work and her illness.

My question is - Can she sign the house over to someone else as the new owner without it affecting her and her benefits?

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

I presume she hasn't declared this?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She has not declared the inheritance and she has not gone to the bank to sign the estate over to herself. All she has done is act as the executor and made the funeral arrangements, communicated with the banks, mortgage company and insurance companies.


There is around £5k left on the house to pay.


I do understand your wish to protect the assets but I'm afraid there is no way that can be achieve. They have long since closed this loophole.

If you dispose of the inheritance in this way they will say that she has divested herself of it deliberately and stop her benefits.

It used to be that you could avoid loss of benefits by placing inheritance in a trust but that changed a few years back.

I'm very sorry but this does need to be declared. If it is not then obviously the DWP may not find out about it but if they do then they will say the failure to notify was fraudulent or at best an error giving rise to an overpayment.

I'm very sorry but that is your position.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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