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Hull Solicitor Successfully Challenges DWP
Re: "Long Death Delays"

(April 2018)

Terry Moore, a partner of Burstalls Solicitors, is the Chairman and Founder of the Hull Probate Practitioners’ Group which is a group of 60 specialist lawyers in the Hull and East Riding area who deal with Wills and the administration of Estates for people who have died.

Terry has frequently over several years contacted the Department for Work and Pensions about the poor service it has provided in respect of the Government’s method for recovering possible DWP overpayments from a person’s Estate (see news item November 2015).

This excessive delay, in his opinion, causes misery for the bereaved and their families and overburdens Wills and Probate Lawyers.  His arguments were featured in three articles in the Law Society’s Gazette (the national weekly magazine for Solicitors).

Terry is pleased to report that the endemic delay has now at last been subject to a  detailed scrutiny by the Department at the highest level as a result of which:-

a)   A new telephone number for Recovery from Estates enquiries has been set up and
b)   (Resulting from Terry Moore’s letters), a 79% reduction in the volume of work since December 2016 has occurred.  The previous practice of asking for Bank statements going back 13 years prior to the date of death “when it is common knowledge that Banks only have records for 6 years prior to the date of death” was, in the opinion of Terry Moore, plainly ridiculous.

The success of his campaign should bring relief to families of people who have died and a significant reduction in the time taken to administer an Estate where a claim is made by the DWP against the assets of the deceased.

Terry is to monitor and review the position once more in mid-Summer 2018.

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