As a specialist probate firm, we are regularly seeing cases when the DWP give notice that they investigating a deceased persons estate.
The DWP will automatically receive a copy of the probate once issued by the probate registry. If means tested benefits have been claimed by the Deceased, it is standard practice for the DWP to request details of the Deceased persons assets, to see whether the benefits should have been claimed originally. If it transpires that the benefits were claimed incorrectly then the DWP will seek to recover the incorrectly claimed benefits from the estate.
It is therefore VERY important that if you are an executor and receive a letter from the DWP – you do not distribute the estate until the DWP have completed their enquiries.