Beneficiary refuses to cash cheque what can I do?

Wills and Estates

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I am the executor for an estate. One of the beneficiaries refuses to cash the cheque for the inheritance (£30,000). I suspect this is benefits related. What are my oprtions?

Replies (22)

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paddle steamer
By DJKL
03rd Jul 2023 14:51

Presume you want to wind up the estate?

Can you cancel the cheque and instead place the funds on joint deposit receipt in your name as executor and in the name of beneficiary, would that work?

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By Ruddles
03rd Jul 2023 15:00

Tell the beneficiary that unless the cheque is cashed within 7 days it will be cancelled and the funds distributed to the other beneficiaries.

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Replying to Ruddles:
RLI
By lionofludesch
03rd Jul 2023 23:32

Ruddles wrote:

Tell the beneficiary that unless the cheque is cashed within 7 days it will be cancelled and the funds distributed to the other beneficiaries.

Good luck with that.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
By Ruddles
04th Jul 2023 11:05

I couldn't find the tongue-in-cheek emoticon

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Replying to Ruddles:
RLI
By lionofludesch
04th Jul 2023 11:14

[chuckle]

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
03rd Jul 2023 15:07

Personally I would speak to them and know for sure what the issue is.

They might not want it as a matter of principle (id not take money from one member of my family even to give it away), they might not have a bank account, or might just be really really really rubbish at admin, or it might be as you suspect in which case perhaps a deed of variation and redirect the proceeds.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By gillybean04
04th Jul 2023 01:07

ireallyshouldknowthisbut wrote:

or it might be as you suspect in which case perhaps a deed of variation and redirect the proceeds.

I'm not sure I follow.

If they won't accept the inheritance due to loss of benefits then they'll likely refuse to agree a deed of variation. Since that would amount to deprivation and leave them without any inheritance or benefits.

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Replying to gillybean04:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
04th Jul 2023 16:09

gillybean04 wrote:

ireallyshouldknowthisbut wrote:

or it might be as you suspect in which case perhaps a deed of variation and redirect the proceeds.

I'm not sure I follow.

If they won't accept the inheritance due to loss of benefits then they'll likely refuse to agree a deed of variation. Since that would amount to deprivation and leave them without any inheritance or benefits.

I don't know why they don't want the cash. But if they don't want it, then you might be able to change the will, so they don't get it. I am not a lawyer, and I don't deal with benefits claimants.

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By Calculatorboy
03rd Jul 2023 19:18

More fool being executor ...avoid it guys.

Maybe try drawing cash out and stuff through his letterbox

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Replying to Calculatorboy:
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By robwillett
04th Jul 2023 16:13

Being an executor was a real eye-opener for us. I guess most people have no idea what is involved. We had someone trying to contest the will which we were able to deal with, and now this. I would never agree to be an executor again - ever.

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Replying to robwillett:
By Lawskills
06th Jul 2023 10:27

Good. Perhaps you might have some sympathy for lawyers after all.

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By The Dullard
03rd Jul 2023 23:29

Ah, a delicate situation you face as the executor of an estate, hm? A stubborn beneficiary who refuses the inheritance cheque, causing you concern about potential benefits-related issues. Fear not, for Yoda shall guide you through this puzzling path. Hmm.

First, discuss the matter with the beneficiary, you should. Understand their reasons for refusing the cheque, you must. Perhaps there are personal or emotional factors at play, hm? Seek clarity, you should.

If benefits-related concerns arise, tread carefully, you must. Contact the appropriate authority, such as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), you should. Inquire about the impact of the inheritance on the beneficiary's benefits, you must. Clarification on their entitlements and potential adjustments, you seek.

Inform the beneficiary of the potential consequences of refusing the inheritance, you should. Explain that unclaimed funds may have implications on their benefits and financial circumstances. Encourage open dialogue and understanding, you must.

Should the beneficiary persist in their refusal, consider seeking legal advice, you should. Consult with a solicitor experienced in probate and estate matters. They can provide guidance on the specific legal obligations and options available to you as the executor.

Ultimately, your duty as the executor is to act in the best interests of the estate and its beneficiaries. Navigate this complex path with care and patience, hm? Seek resolutions that balance both legal requirements and the well-being of the beneficiary.

May the Force guide you as you navigate this intricate journey of the estate, and may a harmonious resolution be reached in due time.

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By Tax Dragon
04th Jul 2023 05:48

£30,000 is a nice round sum. Specific legacy, not a share of residue - or rounding for our benefit? Type of beneficiary may affect nature of entitlement and when it arose. If that's relevant. It may also affect what options you have available. But this is not a legal forum; it's not a sensible place to obtain 'advice' (even on non-legal matters); for actual advice on actual legal matters you need an actual lawyer.

On Yoda's suggestion to contact the appropriate authority: if that's to establish rules on a no-names basis, that seems very sensible; if it's to discuss the financial affairs of a particular individual, I suspect you shouldn't and they won't.

But first point of contact - I agree with others - is the beneficiary. Find out what is going on. Stop assuming.

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By robwillett
04th Jul 2023 15:54

£30,000 is rounded. It is a share of the residuary inheritance. Everyone else (4 others) have been paid and cashed their cheques. I think it is benefit based. They gave us an excuse that they didn't want to 'fritter it away'. So I said well put it into a savings account, but they don't want to do that. The beneficiary is a relative so we know them well, but I am not 100% certain that they are on benefits. However I don't know what they are living on if they are not. They've been out of work all there adult lives, so I think the **** has hit the fan with this.

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RLI
By lionofludesch
04th Jul 2023 08:32

A beneficiary is under no obligation to accept a bequest. But you're going to need something formal to evidence his refusal to accept the cheque. Otherwise, he could reclaim it from you personally at some future date.

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By hiu612
05th Jul 2023 10:34

I believe the ultimate recourse is to arrange to pay the money into Court for holding on the beneficiary's behalf. But you really need to have exhausted all other avenues before even considering that.

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By listerramjet
05th Jul 2023 10:41

I wonder if the will specified how the bequest should be settled? If not perhaps you might try for fungible assets in the beneficiary’s name. Opening up the can of worms of “why” certainly isn’t your responsibility. Although it sounds like you might already know, in which case you should take legal advice on how to proceed.

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By Xtaxman
05th Jul 2023 11:42

As a residuary beneficiary, he would have become absolutely entitled to his share of residue the moment the residue was ascertained. From then, it is an asset held by the executors as bare trustees for him and has an effect on benefits, whether he cashes the cheque or not. If it takes him over the capital threshold for benefits, he needs to declare that and use the legacy to replace lost benefits. Once his capital falls below the threshold again, he can presumably go back on benefits.

There is no reason why taxpayers should continue to support him whilst he has this money available.

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Replying to Xtaxman:
By Lawskills
06th Jul 2023 10:30

Correct - take legal advice but the entitlement to a share of residue as explained is correct. The benefits are lost whether he disclaims his inheritance or not. You cannot aid a benefit fraud. The sooner the beneficiary realises this the better it will be.

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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
06th Jul 2023 10:54

As executor, I tried to bank a £10k cheque for each of my (grown up) kids at a branch of Lloyds in a downmarket area. Lloyds refused to accept the cheques ("you cannot pay money into someone else's bank account"). They told me to pay them in at the issuing bank, Nat West, across the road.

The manager at NatWest also refused to accept them. I tried explaining to him that, as the issuer of this bill of exchange, his bank were bound to honour it even if the payee banked at a different bank (even if it meant charging a fee for doing so). He had no idea what I was talkng about, so I gave up with him.

In the end I went to an upmarket branch of Lloyds in a part of town where £10k is pocket money. They accepted the cheques without batting an eyelid.

I thought I'd run this by you an case you happen to know the beneficiaries' bank details, and decide to take the obvious option that everyone except accountants would go for.

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
RLI
By lionofludesch
06th Jul 2023 12:48

I'msorryIhaven'taclue wrote:

....... you cannot pay money into someone else's bank account".

I must quote this advice to Mrs Lion next time she wants her bank balance topping up.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
06th Jul 2023 13:21

Very brave of you. I can see why you're king of the jungle!

On which tack, I quite liked the marital advice issued to the groom at last weekend's wedding: "Don't let your wife wear the trousers... [pause] ...they belong to Moss Bros".

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