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220.127.116.11 — Where an overpayment has been raised after a client's death, action can be taken to recover the debt. Action can also be continued against a deceased debtor's estate to recover an existing departmental debt.
18.104.22.168 — In both situations, liability for an overpayment in the name of the deceased debtor rests with the estate and under no circumstances should members of the deceased's family be asked to repay the debt. For example, a spouse of a deceased debtor is not personally liable for the deceased's debt. They could only be responsible as the legal personal representative (i.e. trustee/executor) of the deceased estate. The trustee/executor of the estate is responsible for settling all debts against the estate before distributing the estate amongst the beneficiaries of the will.
22.214.171.124 — The Bereavement Unit is required to notify the overpayment section of the death of a debtor promptly. They should advise of the following details:
- full name of the deceased
- date of death
- name and address of the informant
- informant's relationship to the deceased
- name and address of the legal representative of the estate (if known).