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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12091
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Hi My mother died in January. Having had previous problems

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My mother died in January. Having had previous problems we hired a lawyer to sort out the probate. Only 3 beneficiaries, myself, brother and sister. In May we were given an intermediate sum of money each. In June we got the remainder. In September we were advised that that Dept of Works and Pensions was looking at my mothers benefits (entitlement to) and that monies may be recovered. I split my share with my children and effectively it's all spent. I was never told that the money I received was "toxic". Going through probate I assumed I was getting the residue after all debtors had been paid. Surely this is not right.
Regards John
Thank you for your question.
When winding up an estate, it is part of the lawyer's job to make sure that no monies are outstanding to creditors including the government (tax and benefits). A letter should always be sought from the DWP confirming that no sums are due. The estate should not be finalised until this letter is received.
If it turns out that the estate has been distributed yet monies are due to DWP then they may take action against the executor of the estate. In turn, the executor will have grounds for complaint against the solicitor who distributed the estate too quickly.
I hope this helps.
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