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Death of lovely MIL, 'dependant' daughter still in her house

(14 Posts)
Venicelady Thu 24-Mar-22 14:16:05

My lovely MIL died suddenly on Tuesday. She had been ill but we were still shocked at her death.

Now we are left to deal with the practicalities.

Living with her was her daughter aged 62 who due to circumstances related to MH was fully dependent on MIL. She has no income of her own and everything for the upkeep of the house was paid from an account that was solely in MIL's name.

My DH is the Executor of the will. SIL has two daughters with whom she will eventually live, but for the short term she will remain in the house she shared with MIL.

We understand that the bank account will be frozen when they are informed of the death. All DDs for bills etc will be stopped.

If the Will has to go to Probate which could take some time how will my SIL cope with having no access to monies to pay for utilities etc? We are assuming either we or her daughters would pay the bills as they arrive, but that is not ideal.

Would it be possible to unfreeze the accounts prior to probate to let the DDs stay in payment?

Hithere Thu 24-Mar-22 14:39:04

Please do not assume what her daughters will do or won't do.

Have you talked to them?

I would talk to a lawyer and have an ironclad agreement how to deal with this

Your MIL, as much as she loved her daughter, I am sure, did her a great diservice for not making sure dd62 was provided for when mil was not able to do so

Fleur20 Thu 24-Mar-22 15:06:39

Perhaps also speak to citizens advice... daughter should surely be entitled to some kind of allowance if she has had a history of mental health difficulties and has been unable to work/support herself. Was her Mum not claiming for anything in her name?

Ph1lomena Thu 24-Mar-22 15:24:31

If she is unable to work, she should be able to claim benefits. Definitely, talk to citizens advice bureau but get her daughters involved. You definitely need to involve a solicitor as well and get legal advice on the best way of dealing with this. I don't think the bank accounts will be able to be used once the bank is aware your MIL has died, but it maybe the the bills can be held until probate is granted.

ElaineI Thu 24-Mar-22 16:02:21

So sorry for your loss. It's a great pity nothing was put in place before as your MIL must have been at least in her late 70's but there is great advice from posters here. You need a lawyer and advice from CAB and a family discussion about it all. At least there is a will. Is your SIL going to be safe on her own in the house? Perhaps you could ask the GP for a referral to SS as they would be able to advise on benefits and assess her.

Nannarose Thu 24-Mar-22 16:27:58

I second that your SiL needs her own advice - CAB, MIND, a neighbourhood law centre - whatever is available locally. She needs to claim her own benefits and to be clear where she stands. if she has a mental health team looking after her, they can help.
The Probate Office are very helpful, so I would speak to them, and the Bereavement team at your MiL's bank could be helpful as well.
My condolences, and I hope you sort this out soon.

GrannySomerset Thu 24-Mar-22 16:36:30

DH’s bank transferred the contents of his account into mine after his death. Fortunately I had reorganised our accounts so they were all with the same bank and have been able to pay the funeral bills and the bequests to the AC out of this and will pay the other bequests in the new financial year so that the recipients, both charities, can claim gift aid. since I have become a tax payer. Think I have been fortunate.

Soupy Thu 24-Mar-22 16:48:14

It seems your SIL has two daughters so surely they would be involved in things regarding their mother.

As her next of kin would they be able to help her claim whatever benefits are applicable because of her MH?

Lots to deal with here but the bank should be able to advise your DH; there is usually a Bereavement team. I had to take in photo id and the Will when I did this.

Venicelady Thu 24-Mar-22 17:06:35

Thank you. SIL was on incapacity benefits but refused to attend medicals and so they were stopped. Now, she has a house from her marriage that is rented out and so she is not entitled to UC.

SIL does not want to return to the house, but in any case, the rent is her only income and so if she lost that she would have nothing to live on. The rent is not enough to support her to run a home independently.

MIL did speak with the daughters and I fully expect that one of them will step up and take her to live with them (which is what MIL told us they had agreed to do) but they need time to sort out the bedroom situation as they have young children and, not enough rooms.

It is the interim period I am concerned about when the bills stop being paid automatically. I suppose the utility companies etc will just send bills and they will be paid by the family as and when. We all want what is best for SIL.

We will, of course, be speaking to the professionals but I wondered if anyone had any previous experience of this type of situation.

Luckygirl3 Thu 24-Mar-22 18:57:08

This is what the benefits system is for - you should not be having to support her.

MissAdventure Thu 24-Mar-22 19:04:15

Wherever the accounts are held will have a bereavement department you can talk to.
They may at least be able to tell you what to do about imminent bills.
I'm sure, after my mum died, I was allowed to draw out an amount before the account was frozen, but obviously your sister in laws situation is individual to her.

Grannyben Thu 24-Mar-22 19:18:10

I have just dealt with the death of a close relative. His bank (the Halifax) said if there were any bills, before matters were concluded, I could take them in and they would arrange for funds to be made available.
I'm sure when your dh speaks to his mother's bank they will be helpful.
I am very sorry for your loss

Sago Thu 24-Mar-22 19:33:07

Does anyone have POA?
If so that person can pay the bills from the deceased account.

Germanshepherdsmum Thu 24-Mar-22 19:57:33

POA is no longer valid when the donor dies.