Kate has given you an others some good advice re checking out exactly what one is entitled too as it is very complicated and has to very specific to you.
I’m a retired welfare rights officer working in Social Housing, my team advised on entitlement to our customers. Such a valuable service which helped many who had been bereaved.
Can I just give a little bit of general info. State Pension for woman will reach 66 in October this year, and also for men at that point. It’s been moving, over the last 10 years, from May 2010, that is the last time it was paid at 60. Your wife wouldn’t have just missed out Chas.
As Kate advised there has been changes to bereavement allowance too. BA replaced widows pension which was only to women years ago. It was amended in 2017 and is now time limited.
Inheriting you’re husbands state pension is still possible but restricted to certain ages, so for example both over state pension age, husband had a higher state pension than his wife, she should be able to claim the higher payment.
Rules are different for private pensions of course.
The rules for overpaid benefits and recovery are complicated but it is correct what you say Chas, if the overpayment happens after the person has passed away, a letter will be sent asking for it to be repaid but it doesn’t have to be. A call to the department issuing the letter usually is suffice. If the overpayment is historical then again the department will ask but please get independent advice before you pay it. The rules about estates are complicated.
So, the best advice is contact CAB or Age Concern if you have any issues around your finances.