Do Solicitors Inform DWP Of A Claimant’s Inheritance?

If you’ve received an inheritance or are due to receive one and are also claiming benefits at the same time, you may be wondering whether the solicitor managing the deceased’s estate will inform the DWP of your inheritance. As you read the following blog post, you will find the answer to this question. Additionally, we will also explore whether or not a benefits claimant needs to declare their benefits to the DWP, whether their benefits claim will be affected by an inheritance and what are the potential consequences of not declaring an inheritance to the DWP.

Do Solicitors Inform DWP Of A Claimant’s Inheritance?

No, solicitors don’t inform the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) if a benefits claimant receives an inheritance as there is no legal requirement for solicitors to do so. 

However, benefits claimants, especially those claiming means-tested benefits are expected to declare their inheritance to the DWP as failure to do so could result in an overpayment of benefits or being convicted of benefits fraud.

If you are in receipt of benefits and you inherit money or property, you should notify the DWP as soon as possible. This will ensure that your benefits are correctly calculated and that you do not end up being overpaid.

That said, there are certain benefits especially Disability Benefits that are not affected by inheritance but claimants should still inform the DWP of an inheritance. These include the following benefits:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Contributory Employment and Support Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment

If you are unsure whether or not to notify the DWP of your inheritance, you should speak to a solicitor for advice.

Why Do Benefits Claimants Need To Inform DWP Of Inheritance?

Benefits claimants need to inform DWP of inheritance for the simple reason that their means-tested benefits may be affected if they receive a sum of money from an inheritance.

If you do not declare your inheritance and the DWP finds out about it, you could be overpaid benefits. This means that you will need to repay the benefits that you have received, which can be a significant amount of money. In some cases, you may also be asked to pay a penalty.

However, in some cases, people may not need to declare their inheritance if (a) the inheritance does not increase their savings above the maximum threshold of £16,000 in savings or (b) they are claiming non-means-tested benefits.

Which Benefits Are Affected By An Inheritance?

Means-tested benefits, such as the following can be affected by inheritance: 

  • Universal Credit
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Tax Credits (Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Support

If the inheritance takes the claimant’s capital or savings over a certain threshold, they may no longer be eligible for these benefits. The threshold varies depending on the benefit and the claimant’s circumstances, but it is typically around £16,000.

What Happens If You Don’t Declare Inheritance To The DWP?

If a benefits claimant receives an inheritance that takes their capital or savings over a certain threshold and they do not declare it to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), they could be committing benefit fraud.

The DWP has the power to investigate suspected benefit fraud and if they find that a claimant has failed to declare their inheritance, they may take action against them. This could result in the claimant being asked to pay back any overpaid benefits, sanctioned from receiving future benefits payments and potentially facing a financial penalty or criminal charges.

Therefore, it is in the best interest of a benefits claimant to inform the DWP when they receive an inheritance. This can be done by contacting your local Jobcentre Plus office.


It’s important for benefits claimants to understand that even if solicitors don’t inform the DWP of their inheritance, a claimant has a legal obligation to report any changes in their circumstances that could affect their entitlement to benefits, including inheritance. Failing to do so could have serious consequences and it’s always better to be upfront and honest with the DWP about any changes in your financial circumstances.


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