Hi, my name is sonnyday88! I NEED ADVICE URGENTLY PLEASE. Inherited a flat, worried about benefits — Scope | Disability forum
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Hi, my name is sonnyday88! I NEED ADVICE URGENTLY PLEASE. Inherited a flat, worried about benefits

sonnyday88
sonnyday88 Community member Posts: 4 Listener
Im losing sleep and not coping well with what was supposed to be a nice gesture. Its making me ill and i dont know where to turn. Glad i found this site i need advice pls. My aunty had no children and she passed away Nov 2023 leaving me her bought council flat worth around £300,000. Ive since uncovered after going through piles of her paperwork that she took equity out in 2015 for £75,000 which is now in the region of £135,000 including interest. Ive also found out she owes £20,000 for leaseholders roof repairs on her flat in which must be paid out of the sale of her property. Other debts also need paying. Ive never dealt with anything like this before and im pretty useless at handling money matters. I live in a council flat and receive Housing Benefit and ESA. I wish i hadnt inherited her property to be honest as its turning into a big headache! So my questions are....Is there any way I can sell her flat and put the proceeds into my sons account without the government finding out? If i lose my benefits i will end up paying £600 pcm rent plus council tax and her inheritance will be gone very quickly i imagine...I also have a gambling problem im embarrassed to admit. Im petrified im going to get into trouble for fraud if i put the sale of the flat money into my sons account...but who would actually know? Ive no idea what to do. Also ive read about Deed of Variation where i can change her will so i do not inherit anything and my son would. Is this legal or not? My mental health isnt good and this is turning into a nightmare for me. Pls no negative comments im at my wits end and need help.

Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,230 Disability Gamechanger
    Sorry for your loss. I'm afraid you will not be able to give anything away to your son without it being treated as deprivation of capital and you will still be treated as having the money. 

    You can't hide the sale of the property or any money because your local Authority and DWP (if you claim other means tested benefits) will find out through data matching.

    If you did a deed of variation it will still be treated as deprivation of capital and you will still lose all your means tested benefits.

    I'm no expert here but i believe you will need to go through probate first before you can access any of the inheritence. Once that is completed then you will need to report the changes for all means tested benefits. There's some information about probate here. https://www.gov.uk/applying-for-probate


    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Ollyoyster
    Ollyoyster Community member Posts: 347 Pioneering
    Im sorry for your loss,,, is there any way you could purchase a smaller flat with whatever is left over so u dont have to pay rent???? X
  • sonnyday88
    sonnyday88 Community member Posts: 4 Listener
    Thank you poppy123456 for replying. I will definately contact the links you sent me. And for yr info also. It looks like there's no way around this as i could end up in trouble for fraud then!! I honestly had no idea such a nice gesture from my dear aunty could end up becoming such a headache. Thanks again x
  • sonnyday88
    sonnyday88 Community member Posts: 4 Listener
    Ollyoyster hi and thks for yr reply. To be honest after my auntys debts are all paid off after i sell her flat it would be impossible to buy anything where i live for the money i'd be left with. Ive also lived in my council flat for 30 years and really dont want to leave it. Plus if i did find somewhere to buy cheap...id still have to pay council tax etc and i wouldnt be able to afford it. Thank u again x
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,230 Disability Gamechanger
    Unfortunately, there will be no other way around it.
     Plus if i did find somewhere to buy cheap...id still have to pay council tax etc and i wouldnt be able to afford it. Thank u again x
    No, you wouldn't, if your savings dropped below the limit and local Local Authorities have their own savings rules for CTR. Some have a maximum limit of £6,000 before entitlement ends. If you're claiming single person discount then this will continue because it's not means tested.

    If you bought a home for you to live in then it won't be considered deprivation of capital. Though you would need to find somewhere quick because there will be no disregard for the money while you waited to purchase a property.

    What benefits are you currently claiming exactly? Not all benefits are means tested.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • sonnyday88
    sonnyday88 Community member Posts: 4 Listener
    Poppy123456 whats CTR? I sort of understand what yr saying. So do you mean if I give up my rented council flat and did manage to find a property to buy for around £150,000 (maybe less im not sure whats gonna be left at the end) then that would be ok and not considered as fraud? Sorry i sound so dumb ive never dealt with anything like this and im doing it by myself. I receive ESA and Housing Benefit. Im 62 yrs old. x
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,230 Disability Gamechanger
    CTR = Council Tax Reduction. Yes, buying a home you intend to live in will not be deprivation of capital and the home you live in is ignored for capital. 

    Just as an extra thought if you rent your current home from social housing, can you buy this? Please also take into consideration if you buy your home then you will be responsible for all repairs etc.

    Is any part of your ESA contributions based? If it is then this isn't means tested so capital doesn't affect it. It's only Income Related that's means tested. If you're not sure then you can ring ESA to ask them if any part of your claim is contributions based and they will tell you.

    Housing benefit is means tested of course.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Ollyoyster
    Ollyoyster Community member Posts: 347 Pioneering
    Hi just athort, do you need a new car, washing machine, ir any other items which are classed as essential, xx good luck, xx
  • hass
    hass Community member Posts: 194 Courageous

    Happy  new  year  everyone.

    Hope everyone had a good  Xmas.

    Let's  hope  we all have a good

    Year.

       
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,230 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi just athort, do you need a new car, washing machine, ir any other items which are classed as essential, xx good luck, xx

    Although there's no definition of deprivation of capital, if you buy the most expensive things then they could question this when you come to reclaim benefits in the future.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Ollyoyster
    Ollyoyster Community member Posts: 347 Pioneering
    Completely agree poppy,  i dont mean go out and get a porshe just essentials, as they soon add up xx 
  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 2,883 Scope online community team
    Hey there @sonnyday88 and welcome to the community.

    Firstly, I'm so sorry for your loss. Extra DWP related stress is never helpful.  I can see some of our regulars are already helping you, but I just wanted to say hi.  I'm going to move your post to a different category so more folks in the know will be able to see it and offer their advice too.  Hope that's ok.
    Albus (he/him)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • Useless
    Useless Community member Posts: 7 Listener
    hello sonnyday88,

    There is a disability handbook 2024/5 now in print on offer for £27. If you can get hold of that online that would help as it contains information on what you can claim and and the rules about second homes etc. Like others have said about capital. I am no expert, far from it. I needed someone to explain to me some of the contents but this book is a good starting point. hope this helps good luck. best wishes from useless.

Brightness

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