Loose ends

When my son died. I was the one who had to sort all his affairs out.

Trying to pick through someones financial affairs is a little complicated to say the least. He had all the usual things. Car finance. Mobile phone. Bank account. ECT. Looking back now I realize how ridiculous sorting all this stuff out really is. The amount of absolutely ridiculous phone calls I had to make was like something from a comedy sketch. I rang his mobile phone company. Yes sir , I’ll just transfer you through to our bereavement department. ( Just another employee sat beside the person you are talking too). I’m ringing about my son’s account. I’m afraid he passed away. Sorry sir. We can only discuss the account with the account holder. Me… yeah he’s dead. Can you tell me what he owes and close the account. Sorry sir we can only deal with the account holder. Me. Well good luck with that. He’s dead!!! Ok we’ll need to see the original death certificate. Me. Don’t have that, he only died a couple of days ago. Rite well I’m afraid we can’t do anything until we see the original death certificate. This was the sort of ridiculous bureaucracy that you have to deal with. I had this conversation over and over with silly people. It turns out besides his mortgage he had £8,000 of outstanding debt. £6,000 of which were tied up with car finance. So basically£2000 in outstanding bits and pieces .( Nothing really). The amount of stupid red tape and hurdles I had to jump through. In the end his life insurance took care of most of it. But in the grand scale of things you realize how silly it all is. The sofa company badgered me for weeks over an £80 final payment. I got aggressive down the phone and they went away. What none of them will tell you is big companies have provisions for these types of situations. It’s all stress that you don’t need while you are trying to come to terms with your loss. What’s even more absurd is the person who has died couldn’t care less. The moment they passed . Absolutely everything they were involved in has become redundant.

It’s a little bit like all of their belongings. The person that has gone doesn’t care . It’s only us That’s left that have the turmoil of deciding what to keep and what not to keep. How long do you keep there clothes. How long do you keep material things they owned. I suppose that’s down to the individual. This also applies to what behavior you can do. As in . I shouldn’t do this or I shouldn’t do that because (deceased) doesn’t approve. As time goes by you come to realize what a complicated race we are.


Hi Jim, oh yes, how I totally agree with you. Probate which I got myself in a panic about, then turned out to be the biggest let down. I know they all think “fraud” but for little people like you and me it’s just one big package of stress. Mountains of forms with different layout but all with the same questions.
I can laugh now but at the time this was dreadful, letter from a bank stating the problem would not had happened if I had not died. Yes they put Mrs instead of Mr and yes he died on purpose. Help!
I always say it makes us stronger and more resilient but also you get to the ‘couldn’t careless’ stage. Keep smiling and in the end have a big bonfire. S xx

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Hi what you have written mirrored exactly the problem I had when my husband passed away at Easter time. I even went into a Vodafone branch with a prelim death certificate plus all his paperwork but no, “you have to call this number” right ok in the middle of a noisy busy shop, don’t think so. Eventually when I got home and phoned the number I was told the shop could have helped me after all but they were more interested in flogging new contracts. It was an absolute minefield and the worst NS@I who would not entertain a prelim death certificate. As the final one would could take 15 weeks which it did in the end, the Coroner herself stepped in and called NS@I. True to her word I had the funds in 24 hours. I feel for anyone who has to sort out finances, bills, savings, pension payments, car insurance you name it I had to tackle it and only after a good 3 months was I making headway. As is we’re not grief stricken l enough and our heads all over the place. This is just another added burden no one should have to endure.

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Having read your post, I just want to ask why do we have to put up with it all. The answer is simply, we at our lowest and fighting back is just not possible. The only thing left is to never use those companies again. It’s very sad. S xx

Hi Jim
Never a truer word spoken. If you are like me and don’t suffer fools gladly I was nearly turning somersaults with these ridiculous people. Fortunately I am experienced in admin and could cope but I dread to think how those that don’t have this experience get on.
I was told by one company that my husband had a contract with but owned no money that if I didn’t renew and pay, it would go against his credit rating. I told them I didn’t think he would be that bothered. I had companies that demanded a death certificate when they didn’t need to have one. One company kept sending post in his name and refused to change it to mine. The worst was Paypal, what a pest they became with their constant demands. How many times did I have to tell them my husband has passed away and his card had been destroyed by the bank. I received constant emails with their demands. I was then told I had to send them a death certificate to…Luxembourg. My last email to them was pretty strong and I received no more bother from them but it had gone on for weeks. As so rightly said we just don’t need this sort of pressure.
I complained to the Bank who took forever to sort out a small account and an investment company that sent me form after form to fill in…all the same. I received a food hamper from the bank as an apology and phone calls from the investment company with their apologies also. I got the impression they didn’t want anymore complaints from me. Will they ever learn I wonder.

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In my case it was because I didn’t know any different at the time. In the following days after my son died I was trying to sort all his affairs out and not one of the companies I was dealing with suggested that it would all be sorted out once the cause of death was established and the the legal route could be taken. All they were interested was money money money. The company that he had car finance from stated ringing and emailing me everyday. It was only when the auction company that came to pick his car up. The driver told me. Don’t worry about it mate. They get paid eventually. They are just trying it on trying to get you to cough up when it’s not actually down to you. They will get their money back and more besides when the car gets sold at auction. So you are very rite Susie. These companies couldn’t care less about your situation they are just taking advantage while you are at your lowest. But lesson learnt for me. It won’t be happening again :thinking::slightly_smiling_face: