When someone in receipt of a Direct Payments dies, the council or local NHS teams need to be informed so that they can stop the arrangements that are in place.
If you know the name of the social care worker or NHS practitioner, you will need to contact them. If you do not know the name of the social care worker or NHS practitioner please contact duty desk and they will inform the relevant departments.
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 e.g. address and telephone number to the care manager. They need this information so that they know to whom they need to send correspondence.
To contact :
West Sussex – Social Services
Telephone 01243 642121 or
Croydon – Social Services
Telephone 020 8726 6000 or
West Sussex – NHS CCG
Telephone 01903 708400 or
Croydon – NHS CCG
Telephone – 020 3668 1900 option two or
The Direct Payment will close and payments will cease. The council or NHS will write to the executor/solicitor to explain and support you regarding the Direct Payment account and fulfilling all the legal requirements.
Please also call Independent Lives’ Information and Advice Team on 01903 219482 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if the deceased employed PAs and/or used any of our services such as Payroll or Banking Admin.
We can then support you with closing these accounts and working out if any redundancy or notice pay is owed to the deceased’s PAs. In circumstances where the direct payment recipient was the employer, this is viewed under Employment Law as “Frustration of Contract” and employee’s are not entitled to notice pay. However, they are still entitled to a Statutory Redundancy Payment if they meet the eligibility criteria.
The Direct Payment Account
The money has been provided to buy services for someone who needed social/health care support. It does not form part of the person’s estate and cannot be used for any other purpose other than direct payment contractual obligations that need to be met. It cannot be used for such things as funeral expenses.
Any money left in the Direct Payment account, once all the contractual and legally required sums have been paid, must be returned to the department funding the Direct Payment. 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 dedicated Direct Payment account. For example, if the deceased had been employing a Personal Assistant, this person will need to be paid for the work that they have already completed and any redundancy, notice or annual leave pay that is due to them. Your payroll provider will be able to work this out for you.
If you are not the executor of the will, it is very important that you explain the Direct Payments Scheme to the executor. They may not know how Direct Payments work. They need to be made aware that 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 the council/NHS.
If there is not a 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’.
For further information please visit: https://www.gov.uk/wills-probate-inheritance/overview or the citizens advice website: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/family/death-and-wills/dealing-with-the-financial-affairs-of-someone-who-has-died or call 03444 111444.
Access to the Direct Payment Account
It is advisable that you engage the services of a solicitor to help you through the process of applying for a ‘Grant of Letters of Administration’. 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 the council or NHS.
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, the council/NHS will, in certain circumstances, pay out some outstanding payments e.g. salaries on the individual’s behalf. This money will then be recovered once the account has been reactivated and closed. Please contact the funding authority for the Direct Payment for further information.