Appointee Factsheet - Closing an appointee account when someone dies
What happens when someone dies if Staffordshire County Council Appointee team are managing their affairs?
When someone dies who has an Appointeeship, the authority to manage their finances automatically ends. No further payments can be made from their account, the only exception to this is payment of the funeral bill (if there are sufficient funds held to do so) and any overpayments made by DWP after the date of death.
Any outstanding debts must be settled by those administering the person’s estate. This will include, for example, unpaid invoices from utility companies and any unpaid client contributions towards the cost of their care.
The Appointee Service will stop paying client contributions towards their care immediately upon notification of date of deceased.
The Appointee Service will contact the Department of Work and Pensions to inform them of the death. They will also contact anyone else who pays money into the person’s account and will cancel all standing orders and direct debits being paid (notifying the companies of the reason for cancellation).
Please note: the Appointee Service will not have any involvement in registering or making funeral arrangements.
What happens to the funds held for the deceased?
If the individual left a will, it will nominate those acting as executors for their estate. To enable the executor to apply for probate the Appointee Service will need to provide all relevant information.
The Appointee Service will send out a request probate letter and a position statement or a Form of Indemnity depending on the balance remaining to the person dealing with the estate.
Funds will to be released on sight of the Grant of Probate or Document or completed Form of Indemnity and supporting documents.
If the individual has not left a will, then the individual’s estate becomes subject to the intestacy rules. A Grant of Letters of Administration should be applied for by a family member if required.
The Appointee Service will need to identify who is the closest living relative of the deceased before contacting them. There is an order of priority. (spouse, civil partner, children, parents, brothers and sisters)
In cases where the balance held is £10,000 or less and there has been no requirement on those administering the estate (from other parties) to apply for a Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration, the balance held may be released once a completed & signed Form of Indemnity has been received.
What happens if the council don't know about any family?
Where there are no known family members, the case can be referred to an estate beneficiary finder immediately by the Appointee Service.
Any costs associated with identifying a next of kin will be met from the deceased estate prior to settling with the beneficiary.
If the estate beneficiary finder is able to identify a next of kin then either a Probate document will be applied for or an Form of Indemnity will be completed.
If there are no surviving relatives who inherit under intestacy rules, the estate passes to the Crown. This is known as Bona Vacantia. The Government Legal Department is responsible for dealing with the estate and they are the government’s principal legal advisers. Their core purpose is to help the government to govern well, within the rule of law.
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