Social welfare claim on mothers will

Discussion in 'Wills, inheritances and gifts' started by geriatric, 20 Nov 2018.

  1. geriatric

    geriatric Frequent Poster


    My mother passed away in Oct 17 aged 88 yrs and left a will of approx €67k divided between 8 family members.

    In June we were informed by our solicitor that Social welfare were investigating mam’s circumstances, the reason given was that my mother should have notified them when she had received any income over the years that should be taken as means against her non contributory pension. She got around €220 per week and had claimed since she was 70 yrs approx.

    We have now been informed that Social welfare will take €58k from Mam’s will. Our solicitor has told us that there’s little that can be done and that she has seen a few other cases similar recently. We can appeal but not sure if we will.

    Anyone else experienced this? Any advice or should we just accept this?
  2. Protocol

    Protocol Frequent Poster

    This happens a fair bit.

    Many elderly do not declare all their income/assets when applying for the non-con pension.

    Happened to my great aunts.

    In one sense it's good to see the State, acting on behalf of the taxpayers, reclaiming what was taken from them.

    What can you do?

    I suppose you can double-check that the figures are correct?
  3. Palerider

    Palerider Frequent Poster

    I am sorry for your loss, Mums are precious, Accept it and move on, a reminder to us all to have our affairs in order ( if we can ) prior to the onset of any illness that can snatch us from this mortal coil.
  4. Thirsty

    Thirsty Frequent Poster

    Get SW to set out clearly what overpayment they believe she got.

    And appeal - it will only cost you the price of a stamp, the worst they can do is say no.

    With an estate valued at E67k she wasn't living the high life.
  5. PMU

    PMU Frequent Poster

    The executor(s) is/are required to inform the Department of Social Protection of the death if the deceased was in receipt of a social welfare payment before distributing the estate. The Department then has three months in which to decide if an overpayment was made and to recover it. If you don't do this they can recover it from the executor(s). It's all here
  6. Brendan Burgess

    Brendan Burgess Founder

    She might not have been living the high life, but the taxpayer was paying her a pension when she had an income of her own.

    This should not be appealed.

  7. SoylentGreen

    SoylentGreen Frequent Poster

    Is it possible that over the 20 years or so that she was receiving this non contributory pension she was living a frugal lifestyle and putting away €3k or €4k per annum? This would add up over the years.

    Can you check bank statements?
  8. Monbretia

    Monbretia Frequent Poster

    It should certainly be appealed from the point of view of making sure their information and calculations are correct. If it is correct then yes it will have to be paid but it's not unknown for these departments to make errors in calculation!

    However it is not that uncommon, I have a relation who boasts about his ability to get a pension while having other undeclared income, it's going to catch up with him, well not with him but with his children when it's deducted from his estate! But he won't listen about it, he's convinced he has beaten the system.
  9. Bronte

    Bronte Frequent Poster

    I know people who beat the system. But I read recently revenue are getting smarter.

    If the OP's mother had other undeclared income than she was not entitled to all of a state pension, she may have been entitled to part. If there was no other income the assets, the cash in this case, would be counted as 'mean's, and whatever those are assessed to be would have reduced her state pension (non contributury this only applies to). But the calculation should certainly be looked at. They can make mistakes.
  10. Seagull

    Seagull Frequent Poster

    If he manages to claim more than he leaves in his estate, then he has beaten the system
  11. Monbretia

    Monbretia Frequent Poster

    Good point Seagull, he is in his nineties now so maybe he has managed to profit overall from it!
  12. mugsymugsy

    mugsymugsy Frequent Poster

    Sorry for your loss OP and hope you get it all sorted.

    With technology now and record keeping more and more people will find themselves in your situation.

    It does make you wonder how you should ensure that you spend / gift your assests to relatives before you die and ensure that you maximise things - all while being legal.
  13. Mary55555

    Mary55555 Frequent Poster


    I agree with a lot of the other posters here.

    Ask for a break down of how the social welfare calculated the 58k.

    Get your mam’s bank statement for the years where social welfare are basing their calculations on.

    See if they tally. I would point out that for instance if you applied now for a non contributory pension 20 k is disregarded..

    It is always best to check.

    I had a case where a fair deal application was made and all savings fully declared. The fair deal was paid. When the person died there was a similar cross check of assets of estate to assets re fair deal. They sought an underpayment of €8k. However we successfully showed that all the savings had been declared and it was their calculation error..

    So it happens.. mistakes can be made .. so certainly for the amount of money involved dig a little deeper. You will at least satisfy yourself and your siblings..
    Don’t leave it too late!
    noproblem likes this.
  14. Black Sheep

    Black Sheep Frequent Poster

    Would it be possible to check the "other income" received first. Was that regular income from another source. Without that information it would be very difficult for you or SW to calculate what amount of pension she should have received. I suspect she should have received a part pension.(The full rate should be reduced by the amount of "other income" over €30.00)

    Where did SW get the info of the "Other Income"
  15. geriatric

    geriatric Frequent Poster

    [QUOTE="mugsymugsy, post: 1591188, member: 103552"

    It does make you wonder how you should ensure that you spend / gift your assests to relatives before you die and ensure that you maximise things - all while being legal.[/QUOTE]

    Thanks for all your responses - much appreciated and food for thought.

    Mam lived a very frugal lifestyle and would certainly never intentionally claim anything she was not entitled to. It kinda feels like a slight on her character. Mam and the rest of us were unaware of the possibility of need to report any change in income which came about through a couple of inheritances approx 30k each. And I know that ignorance is no excuse.

    It's been an eye-opener for us all, I hope that by sharing our experience it might make others aware of this practice and take steps to advise loved ones.

    An appeal doesn't feel like the right thing to do.
    1dave123, David1234 and Gordon Gekko like this.
  16. Monbretia

    Monbretia Frequent Poster

    Well check the figures/calculations at least to make sure they are right.
    1dave123 likes this.
  17. john luc

    john luc Frequent Poster

    sorry for your loss. By the sounds of it your mam was a typical mam that I would recognise. Don't accept this without questioning it. Your mam left a small legacy and it is hers to choose what she would want to do with it. Non contribution pension rules saying she did not contribute to the value of Ireland are political slogans. She did contribute and in her elder years, we owe them a pension. Inheritance payments we give each of us in Ireland are in the highest taxed from all directions even though they usually come from a pot of wealth from a lifetime of taxed working and saving. Honour your mam and question this all the way I would suggest.
    galwaypat and Firehead like this.
  18. SlugBreath

    SlugBreath Frequent Poster

    I assume that the executor contacts the Department of Social Welfare to advise them of the death of someone. What happens then? Does the Department write back to the executor and asks for bank statements? Does the Department wait until Probate is registered and then have a look to see what assets the deceased had? Is this done in all cases or are they random checks?
  19. PMU

    PMU Frequent Poster

    The executor has to write to Social Protection and ask the department if there is any claim against the estate. Otherwise the executor cannot answer Question 4 a. / 4b. on the CA24 form. The issue is covered in Revenue's guidance on how to complete the CA24 form.
    Also an executor must inform Revenue on the CA24 form if the deceased was in receipt of payments under the Nursing Home Support Scheme , aka Fair Deal, and provide details if the HSE has a claim against the estate.
    Mary55555 likes this.
  20. geriatric

    geriatric Frequent Poster

    Here’s an brother, the executor had produced legal evidence of mam’s Inheritance which she received from my father. He also evidenced the cost of a stairlift fitted because SW queried monies leaving mams bank account. He gave these to our solicitor, no appeal. They recalculated and today we were told that SW claim has been reduced from 58k to 16k!!!

    Very strange and fortunate. Thanks once more for your advice and it is so worthwhile to not accept their first figure.