Sunday, August 26, 2012

Melissa A. Executor

At the almost 6 month mark, one would expect that all my affairs are in order. But the truth about death is there is a lot of stuff to clean up afterwards from an administrative perspective. I am very Type A, an accountant at heart so and I sitll don't have it all done. I think I am nearing the end and some things I just didn't have the energy for. Thern there is the special category of not being abl to do anything because you are waiting on someone else. The whole process was an exercise in prioritizing. Take care of those things that need to get done right away due to monetary reasons.

Part of the reason that it takes so long is simply the dreadful nature of it. You call the company, tell your story, and receive some robotic response from the telephone operator, "Sorry for loss, my condolences". You respond thank and move on to the task at hand. In the first few weeks after Matt's death, I was averaging about one of these a week. But thankfully the list is pretty much crossed off at this point.

One of the lesser important tasks was switching over mileage/reward accounts. And I felt kind of weird about this one. My husband died, can I please have his frequent flyer miles? But Matt loved his miles and getting a good deal. He would under no circumstances wanted then to go to waist and would have wanted me to enjoy them. He loved the fact that we went on our Honeymoon to Aruba on points. I can hear him now boasting that we still have enough points to go onanother trip like that on points. Oh how I wish we were.

I learned that as a widow, I should basically just carry a copy of the death certificate around, you never know what you might need it for. Only a few outstanding issues at this point so I guess one day everything will be settled. I do have to share some organizations that I was just appalled by and one that impressed me.

Oh my. How I loathe them. If it didn't take a significant amount of time and energy, I might consider changing cell phone providers. Perhaps it's my long history of generally not having to handle cell phones. I was originally on my grandpa's cell phone plan when I got a phone in college. I just stayed on his plan after I graduated to keep the same number. Finally, when he became ill, he wanted to get his affairs in order and wanted to remove my number. Matt was with ATT&T so we got a family plan. It was funny we got a family plan a year or so after we were married and to me it really signified that we were tied together.

Initially I went into the store to cancel Matt's data services as I wanted to keep it in on in case anyone called. My aunt had come with me and we were happy as we left feeling like we had really accomplished something that day. About a month later, I turned it completely off. Then the bill came and it was outrageous and made no sense. I called and they assured me they had corrected everything. Next bill comes with another and it's wrong and again impossible to figure it out. Then another bill came for a different account. I called again. And again And again. And if you have ever called AT&T, the phone reps all gice you a different answer. By the end I just started my calls with "My husband passed away, I am trying to close his account, and you are making this way more difficult for me". This did the trick and I eventually got the correct bill. But they forgot to tell me that the due date changed so I was late on my next bill. One more call, they removed the the late fee and the last time I got my bill it went smoothly. I called Matt's number once just to see who had it now and it went to a system message. I hope no one ever has that number. It is one of two numbers I have memorized in this day of saved contact lists. And my voicemail box has tons of his old messages. I don't listen to them often because it's a guaranteed meltdown. My favorite message was him calling me to ask me how I should wash my bras as he was doing laundry. What a sweet caring husband and he knew there would be big trouble if something got messed up in the wash. But I am glad to have those messages and hope to old on to them forever.

ALL of the other companies including; American, Marriot, and Hilton gladly put Matt's miles into my account. For United, there was a $75 processing fee. I paid it because there were enough miles to warrant paying the processing fee. This just irks the heck out of me. But I look forward to flying to somewhere fabulous for only $75.

 Riehn Insurance
This is family insurance company in the Chicago area. I received a notice from my mortgage company that they needed proof of my insurance. I faxed over the request to Riehn and they quickly called my mortgage provider to determine what I needed. I was just shocked that she called for me. I feel like now adays, most places wouldn't do that. It was something so small but was one less thing for me to do.

I guess I should be proud that I am almost done with these tasks, that they are all almost checked off. But sitting here, I feel no sense of relief. Just sad.




  1. I have had JP's United info sitting on my desk (or in various envelopes of "to do" items) since February. For some reason I wasn't sure they would let me take over the miles, but now that I know the deal, I will be calling them tomorrow. Like Matt, JP definitely had enough miles to warrant that processing fee. Perhaps when we are both done with all the items on our lists, we should use our miles for a trip together. I still have a ways to go before the estate closes, but I think there's just one outstanding item before we tackle that administrative nightmare and I get to fork over my last hefty lawyer fee...

    1. Glad this got you some info you needed! It happened pretty quickly after I sent in my "fee". Yes, we need to jet off together somewhere once our to do lists are finally complete!