Just checking………

As my life changes now from caregiver to Executor, trust me. the frustrations and the sense of humor still need to be in place.

I spent two hours yesterday calling all the places that send money to my brother-in-law to thank them, but notify them that he has passed away.

I called two pension plans, one health insurance company, one drug insurance company, and one health insurance reimbursement company. Five phone calls shouldn’t take that long. However, there is no “press 9” if your loved one has passed away. By the time I was transferred to each appropriate department and repeated my story over and over again, I started to feel the ghost of caregiver frustration rearing her ugly head.

Truthfully, most customer service people were quite kind and sympathetic.

But there’s always one, isn’t there?

The health insurance reimbursement company was set up by my brother-in-law’s former employer to reimburse each individual for their health insurance premium as a temporary benefit when the employer no longer wanted to be in the health insurance business. This started last year when I had to wade through 64 health plans to pick the best one and then send in a cancelled check to have reimbursement sent directly to my brother-in-law’s checking account. I am certain that I had to fax my Power of Attorney documents to this company so that I could conduct this business while my brother-in-law was in the hospital.

The second person I am transferred to deems herself helpful in this way:

“I can’t find your Power of Attorney document in my system.”

“That’s okay,” I replied, “because I’m just calling to let you know that my brother-in-law passed away.”

“Well,” she said tartly, “I think you have to call back and speak to customer service about that.”

“Okay,” I said slowly and a bit confused, “but will they take care of this then?”

“Well, I don’t know!” she sputtered, “but your Power of Attorney isn’t any good for dead people.”

Oh my God, did she really say that? Actually, I say that all the time in my lectures where I’m teaching about what you need to do get your affairs in order, but still….really?

“I know,” I told her, “because I’m also the executor.”

“Huh,” she mumbled, “Well, I don’t see any executor papers here in the file.”

“I know that too, he just passed away a week ago,” I said slowly and patiently, or so I thought. ” I just wanted to inform you so that you stop putting money in his checking account.”

“Well, we can’t just do that. Did you call his former employer?”

“Why, yes I did, with no difficulty.”

What she's really doing while talking to me.
What she’s really doing while talking to me.

“Well then,” she said with exasperation, ” they will take care of it.”

“So I DON’T have to call customer service?” I inquired.

“The employer will take care of it,” she said.

“Look, I just want you to note that so you don’t keep putting money into his account. Is that possible?”


I didn’t tell her I was closing those accounts. I’m just smiling knowing those checks would be swimming around in the direct deposit atmosphere for who knows how long.

And I did not call customer service.

’cause well………….in these times,

“You Just have to Laugh…………”

©2015 Cathy Sikorski


0 thoughts on “Just checking………

  1. Cathy, I just got around to reading this. Sorry about your brother-in-law. How old was he? Will you get new material? I’m glad you will have more time to focus on the wedding. xX

    Sent from my iPad


  2. I’ve noticed customer service reps have lost their ability to be professional and courteous. It good you can laugh about it because after 5 calls, I probably wouldn’t have been so nice.

  3. Unfortunately people like that are everywhere. They just don’t think of the possible effect their stupidity can have on others. Not everybody is able to see the humour in those situations. Well done Cathy.

  4. I see some unclaimed property in your future if the accounts are closed and deposits go into cyberspace for a few years. 🤔 for some reason there is always one difficult company who doesn’t quite get it. I rolled Mike’s Ira into one of my own just to get it away from his former employer. I have issues with them. They left 30 cents in the account and are bugging me to take it. It’ll cost me more for the medallion guarantee than the 30 cents! Maybe in 50+ years my kids will find a windfall if the stock value goes up! Just had to share!

  5. well done Cathy… i just can’t believed this lady you had to talk to. like you said. it is always that one. still, it’s great to hear you are doing find and “you just have to laugh” at people like that. (smiles!!!!!!!)

  6. I think it’s time we all stop people like that “dead” in their tracks and tell them how incredibly rude and insensitive they are. “Excuse me, miss, but can I have your direct line so that, when one of your loved ones passes away, I can call and return the kindness you’ve shown me today?”