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13.2.1 General Principles

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The widow/widower of a deceased eligible person is an eligible person in her/his own right. This eligibility arises on the death of the person who performed the qualifying service.  This right to entitlement is not affected by a discharge of the deceased person from the Forces due to misconduct.

Where an advance was taken out by the eligible person, with his/her spouse or de facto partner as a joint tenant and the advance was discharged before the eligible person's death, the widow/widower was never a borrower for any reason other than merely because she/he joined in the advance granted to her/his eligible spouse or de facto partner. The widow/widower has eligibility in her/his own right and subject to the entitlement requirements, access to an initial advance.

Where an advance to which the widow/widower was a joint borrower was still current at the time of the eligible person's death, the status of the widow/widower is not affected. In such cases, the widow/widower has eligibility in her/his own right and subject to the entitlement requirements, access to an initial advance.  This may be used in respect of the existing home in conjunction with the current loan.

Where an advance was taken out in the sole name of the eligible person, upon the sole borrower's death and the finalisation of the estate, if the widow/widower is the beneficiary she/he has the option to have the property transferred to her/him under the same terms and conditions as the existing loan (this will require the refinancing of the existing loan).  If the widow/widower proceeds on this basis, she/he will no longer be entitled to an initial advance (unless she is a Second World War ex-servicewoman listed in ss.4(2AA) or he is a 'veteran widower' of such a person).  However, if the property is retained in the name of the sole borrower's estate, the widow/widower would have eligibility in her/his own right and, subject to entitlement requirements, would have access to an initial advance to acquire another home. It is important to counsel widows/widowers in this situation of the advantage, as far as their DSH entitlement is concerned, of retaining the property in the name of deceased spouse's estate until such time as they wish to exercise their own entitlements to acquire another home.  (Entitlement GO 11 including Appendix A refers).  This advantage needs to be weighed against the fact that while the property remains in the name of the estate, the widow/widower cannot obtain an additional advance nor a widow's/widower's advance because she/he does not own the property and she/he is not a borrower.  It is also probable that she/he may not qualify for a rates rebate from the local authority. If she/he wishes, the widow/widower can effect the transfer of the property to her/him by using her/his entitlement to an initial loan to refinance the existing loan and also include the cost of any other purposes for which assistance may be granted.