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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 32086
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Is a joint executor liable DWP debt which was

Customer Question

Is a joint executor liable for a DWP debt which was accrued during a time when one of the executors held a Power of Attorney? I am also concerned that the Power of Attorney and Executor is withholding information relating to chattels that have been sold.
Probate has already been granted.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further informtaion firstHas Probate been obtained by both Executors?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Good Morning,

Probate was granted to both of us on 22 Oct 2015.

DWP letter dated 22.12.15 advising there may have been an overpayment was sent to POA and Ex (my sister) This letter is solely addressed to my sister as Power of Attorney.

I received this notification by email from my sister on 4 Jan 2016.

I had no knowledge of or dealings with my mother's financial affairs.

Exchange of contracts on my mother's house mid Feb 2016

Completion on 18.2.16.

In light of this DWP information Exs agreed via solicitor to secure a balance of completion monies in a Joint Exs account post completion.

Kind regards


Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Have you seen the December letter at all?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Clare, the gist of the message:

"Dear Mrs Watkins-Smith

About the estate of Elaine Smith

Thank you for sending us details of the estate of Elaine Smith.

I am writing to tell you that Elaine Smith may have been paid too much income related benefit.

We have asked the office that paid the benefits to send the relevant documents to us. We will write to you again when we receive these documents.

We strongly advise you not to distribute the estate.

If the estate is distributed the executor may be held personally responsible for any claim."

Subsequently, Deborah has received a letter or letters from DWP none of which have been passed to me despite repeated requests from me.

I phoned DWP and was informed that they wanted details of assets held by Elaine on 26 Oct2006, I obtained bank statements that included the specified date and on 05/04/16 sent them to DWP by post and to Deborah Watkins-Smith by email.



Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
This is not an unusual position - and if there has been an overpayment then it will be repayable from the house sale money.I am afraid the fact that your sister hold Power of Attorney at the time is not relevant.The DWP will only right to one of the Executors - that too is standard.Please ask if you need further details