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More stuff to do

Whenever I think I’m getting close to finishing dealing with the glut of paperwork following Christopher’s death, something else I’d forgotten about comes out of the woodwork.

I know that there are still tax affairs to settle arising from his redundancy payment. HMRC wrote back to me just last week asking for yet more information in response to my letter to them of 8th November. At this rate, it could be months before a simple tax bill gets settled. But at least I know about that one. It’s the unexpected ones that have been bothering me recently. Just when I thought I’d finished with the conversations along the lines of “I wish to inform you that my husband is dead. Please cancel his account / move it into my name / refund me the balance”,  I have to start again.

For example, Chris had an online account with Plaxo. It’s been largely dormant, so I didn’t even know about it. But it fired into life a few weeks ago, sending all his contacts notice that his birthday was coming up. How inappropriate was that? Fortunately, one of his online friends contacted me to tell me it was happening (thanks Ruth), or I wouldn’t have known. But cancelling the account is quite another matter, especially since I have no idea what his password was. I’ve got a request in with the Plaxo “Customer Care” people and we’ll see if that makes any difference.

Then today I got a new TV Licence through the post. Fine, except that it was in his name, not mine. I’d forgotten to tell them when he died. So I phoned them up and, I kid you not, had to go through five levels of automated menu before I actually got to speak to a real person. When I finally did get through, I explained that I simply wanted to change the name on the TV licence. We paid by direct debit, and the account details remain exactly the same (indeed they’ve been taking money from it monthly with no problems), and clearly the address of the property remains the same. Should be straightforward I thought. But no. They “couldn’t do that over the phone” – instead I had to write to their “Correspondence Centre” in Bristol.

So I’ve bought some more second class stamps today. I’m not going to waste a first class one on HMRC or TV Licensing!

{ 4 } Comments

  1. PaulD | 20 January 2011 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    It does make me wonder when dealing with some of these big organisations that maybe doing things the proper way isnt the wayt to do it. eg wife and i know each others pins, paswords and signatures if you get what I mean.

  2. Gillian | 20 January 2011 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    When we knew that he was dying, Chris made me an encrypted file with his most important passwords and PINS in it. Though he nearly forgot to tell me the master password to open it! But it didn’t have the passwords for those sites that he only used rarely. And since he “did things properly” and had a separate password per website, I can’t guess the missing ones. Frustrating……

  3. PaulD | 21 January 2011 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Ah, I didnt think of the password issue, wife wouldnt know mine as I use a multi layered approach depending upon the security implications of given site 🙂

  4. David Allsopp | 2 February 2011 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    The TV licensing problem doesn’t entirely surprise me – Some time ago I kept getting warning letters from them, even though I had a valid TV license (due to there being several variations on the house address, I guess).

    They eventually admitted to me on the phone that their license database and their database of ‘missing licenses’ (i.e addresses to send ominous letters to) were entirely separate, so this sort of thing was bound to occur.