Alright, so you’ve made your will, had the conversation about whether to be cremated, buried, frozen, shot into space or stuffed and mounted, you think you’re done, prepared, sorted – you are so very very wrong.
The bureaucracy following the death of BigSis highlighted how things have changed since the death of our parents. As things move more online, there are many changes and additional consequences to systems, procedures and ownerships. Back in the days of pen and paper, even slate and chalk, a bank would use common sense when trying to access or move funds and things could happen within a couple of days, nowadays accounts are frozen, details need to be verified, confirmed and copied for the deceased, as well as the recipient. Don’t expect it to happen in anything less than two to three weeks.
It’s time for me to get my affairs in order, make sure that access and answers are at hand. My brain is racing away, with detached sentimentality, desperate to go through cupboards, draws and boxes to get rid of all my accumulated bits and bobs, to get stuff sold via the relevant specialist, online sites or charity shops, there are even pangs of guilt about the items destined for the trash, those items that are unsellable, unrecyclable, just junk. But the body has neither the strength or mobility to do it.
The old noggin is even wondering whether it is possible to bequest my Amazon purchases, like you can physical purchases. If your partner is the named Amazon account, when they depart, so will the access to everything they have digitally bought/subscribe. Accessing their account is technically fraudulent, even if you know the details and have permission, after they’ve died. More and more our utility bills, credit cards and banking is done online, and unless details are written down and kept somewhere safe, your executor will have zero clue where to find your funds, the same with utility bills and income sources. So much was more straightforward when you had a statement or bill through the post to act as reference, with its account numbers and names all there.
Fortunately I don’t drive, again online access means that now once a driving license is cancelled, so is the road tax and ownership papers attached to that persons details, so if you share a car with your partner, that’ll be an urgent call to the DVLA needed.
As a super single there will be bills and the need for funds before probate and such is all sorted, so I am considering opening a separate account with another named party so access to urgent funds can be managed.
Maybe it is morbid but it is a necessary conversation. After all, your nearest and dearest deserve to have things run as smooth as possible, rather than add to the stress and distress.