Tag Archives: Power of attorney

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


No matter where I go….

So I volunteered to be on an advisory board for a Catholic elementary school. I know, I know, REALLY? You need to do more volunteer work? But my really good friend, the principal of the school asked, and whenever she asks me to do something I say yes and have regrets later. But THIS time, I figured it’s about little kids, no elders, no Medicare, no Social Security, no nursing homes. Yay….little kids.

The parish priest leads the first meeting, and after we open with a prayer (and boy do I need all the prayers I can get), he tells this quick story.

“So, I’m a power of attorney for one of our parishioners who is 90 years old.”


“AND,” says Father, ” he was rushed to the hospital a few days ago, so of course, the hospital called me right away.  I went over there to make sure everything was fine, and they were going to keep him for a few days and then send him to rehab to one of two possible facilities.”

So I’m thinking: okay, he probably had some problem getting him in to the facility that he wanted. Or the elder parishioner had some unexpected medical condition. Nothing new here. And, by the way, I have not yet confessed to this group what my background is.

Father continues:

“The dear man is in the hospital for three days, and I’m waiting for a call because they have told me that he will likely be moved today or tomorrow. So I’m sort of hanging around, trying to stay close to home in case they call or need me for anything. Finally at 2:30 in the afternoon the nurse contacts me and says:

“Hello, Father?”

“Yes? I have been waiting for your call.”

” Well, I guess we should have called you sooner, like BEFORE we released your parishioner from the hospital.”

“REALEASED HIM???!!!! WHERE DID HE GO? He’s 90! He doesn’t drive and I’m the only one who transports him. WHERE IS HE?????

“Oh, he was transported by ambulance to a rehab center.”

“WHICH ONE…. where did you send him?????”

Poor 90 year-old guy, when he got there, he had no idea where he was, why he was there and what was going on. NOT BECAUSE HE HAS DEMENTIA…..he doesn’t……BECAUSE NO ONE TOLD HIM OR HIS CAREGIVERS.

Yup, true story (and I asked Father if I could put it in my blog and he gave me his blessing …and said yes, too)

You just have to laugh…….

Cathy Sikorski