What to do when someone receiving direct payments dies

When someone receiving a direct payment dies, we need to be informed so we can stop the arrangements that are in place.

You will be asked for the name of the executor or the person who will be dealing with the affairs of the deceased. The executor will be named in the deceased’s will as the person who will deal with their affairs after their death. They will also ask if there is a solicitor.

If there is a solicitor involved please give their name and contact details, including their address and telephone number. We need this information as we need to know whom to send correspondence to.

The Direct Payments administrators will close down the Direct Payments. The Direct Payments Monitoring Team will write to the executor /solicitor to explain and support you regarding the Direct Payments account and fulfilling all the legal requirements.

The council have a contract with Penderels Trust to provide support to people who employ Personal Assistants with their Direct Payments. They may also be involved during this time to ensure all the employer responsibilities are completed correctly

The direct payments account

The money has been provided to buy services for someone who needed social care support. It does not form part of the person’s estate and cannot be used for any other purpose other than contractual obligations that need to be met. It cannot be used for such things as funeral expenses.

Any money left in the Direct Payments account once all the contractual and legally required sums have been paid must be returned to us. This includes money on a prepaid card or money in a dedicated bank account held by the customer. We will advise you on how this can be done.

If you are the executor of the will, you will need to find out if there are any contractual obligations or payments that need to be made from the direct payment account. For example, if the deceased had been employing a PA, this person will need to be paid for the work that they have already completed and any redundancy/annual leave pay that is due to them.

We or Penderels Trust can assist you to do this. The redundancy payment due to each employee under the statutory redundancy payment scheme depends on the individual’s age and length of service.

If you are not the executor of the will

It is very important that you explain the direct payments scheme to the executor. They need to be made aware that the remaining funds, after all contractual and legally required sums have been paid out, should be returned to the council as this is public money belonging to the council. They need to be made aware that the prepayment card account or the bank account is a dedicated direct payment account and that the remaining money in it, after all contractual and legally required sums have been paid out, needs to be returned to us.

If there is no will

The individual is said to have died ‘intestate’. Usually a close relative like a spouse, child or parent will be able to apply for the legal right to sort out the estate of the person who has died. In order to be able to administer someone’s estate you (or the friend or relative) will need to apply to the Probate Registry for a ‘Grant of Letters of Administration’.

Access to the direct payment account if it is paid into a bank account

It is advisable that you obtain a solicitor to help you through the process. On receipt of the grant, you or the individual will become the ‘administrator’ of the estate. The grant provides proof to banks, building societies and other organisations that you have authority to access and distribute funds that were held in the deceased’s name.

You will then be able to access the direct payment bank account and will be able to make any payments that need to be made. Once all payments have been made, you will need to return the remaining money to us.

Where there is a prepaid card account, the council will work with you to ensure all the responsibilities are met and the remaining balance will be paid back to us.

How can we meet the contractual responsibilities if we cannot access the money?

In the case where the account has been frozen or there is no access to the account, we will in certain circumstances, pay out some outstanding payments such as salaries on the individual’s behalf.

Please contact the Money Management and Income Control Finance Team for more information via 01926 418657