Inheritance/capital issue!

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    Can i some advise on a case which is currently under appeal.

    Claimant was deemed ineligible for benefit based on capital of £19,000.00 that is held in her bank account. It was established following an investigation that the claimant had held this money in various accounts. The claimant states that the money belongs to her son and she was advised to hold it in her name as it would be a better invested. She states that the money was inherited from the grandmother who lived in Malta but there were no solicitors involved and no legal documentation to substantiate this. Apparently under Maltese law you there is no legal requirement, as there is in this country, for solicitors to be involved and certainly no requirement for a will to be made. Seemingly, if you reside and die in Malta, any capital held by the deceased can be distributed to whoever the family wishes. No tax implications!?

    Can anyone give me some advise on this?

    Kevin D

    If in the first instance the evidence shows “person A” holds capital, the onus falls on that person to show differently.

    In the absence of documentary evidence, it’s down to the credibility of the clmt. It’s not clear from the post whether the investigation unearthed accounts that had not been disclosed. The failure to disclose accounts already raises questions although, presumably, the clmt is saying the accounts were not disclosed because the money isn’t hers beneficially.

    In my view, knowledge of Maltese law will be of little help if the starting point is the same as UK law (i.e. no requirement to make a will). If you felt inclined, you could try and check to see if a will WAS made – it may be held in Malta in the “Governmental Notarial Archives”. However, as far as I;ve been able to find, registration of a will does not appear to be a legal requirement in Malta.

    The bottom line will be about whether or not you believe the clmt about ownership of the capital.

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