I am NOT a track and field star. I NEVER was. However, since my mother's death in July I feel like I have been jumping hurdles non-stop. Trying to overcome obstacles that have been set in my path.
When you have lost a loved one the last thing you need to do is start jumping hurdles. It's an emotional time. For me, it's also been an exhausting time. I have not been sleeping well. Just the other night I was exhausted as I had lost a couple of hours of sleep the previous night due to a power outage (thank you PSEG for taking care of it relatively quickly). You'd think I'd fall asleep quickly, but I didn't. When I finally did I woke up after 30 or so minutes. Every hour I would wake up. It made no sense, but...
There are so many things that you need to take care of when a person dies. I am grateful to the places/organizations that made it easier. You'd expect the funeral home to make it easy, and the one I dealt with it; handing the whole process with compassion and ease. So did the two pastors who handled the services (one at the cemetery and one at a church at the shore), which is also would you would expect. However, I also received excellent service from ShopRite where I ordered food for the repass following the cemetery service and Jersey Mike's where I ordered sandwiches for the repass following the memorial at the church. (They even delivered, which is not something they usually do.)
I expected to have to jump some hurdles when it came to going to Surrogate Court to probate the will. There WAS one (smallish) hurdle prior; my father was named executor with me being the back of if he was unable to do the job. Since he was, I had to have him fill out a form and sign it in front of a notary. A little challenge, but not much.
I was apprehensive when I went to the courthouse in Ocean County, but I shouldn't have been. The biggest challenge I had was finding a place to park and then finding the right door to enter the building! My wait was not long and the woman who assisted me (I wish I could remember her name) was kind, efficient and extremely helpful. (She was the one who told me I needed to set up an EIN on the IRS website. THANK YOU!)
I *THOUGHT* closing my mom's bank accounts would be easy. While it was a LONG (my opinion at the time) and somewhat stressful process at TD Bank, it wasn't until I went to Bank of America that I realized how difficult and stressful a financial organization can make things. I won't go into all the details because I'm assuming that you've read my previous posts (but if you haven't go back and skim and be horrified). The only good thing I can say about BoA, is that they have provided a lot to blog about over the past week and the good news is that two checks are on their way to me via UPS made out to the estate. It will be a great relief to deposit them into the estate account at TD Bank. (Again, I'm not saying that they are the worlds best, but I will say they ARE convenient AND their customer service representative on the phone actually helped me and my issue was solved in under 20 minutes so...)
Another word about BoA; if you have a joint account with someone and that person dies, they will freeze slightly more than half of the account, putting the money "on hold." Why they do this, I don't know. I'm sure it's perfectly legal (but definitely not compassionate) and I know it is not unique to us. (I've heard lots of stories.) It IS very stressful and definitely goes against:
(photo taken from BoA's linke: https://www.bankofamerica.com/signature-services/estate-services/)
If you want to get BoA's attention tag them on social media. I specifically used Twitter. Every time I blogged, I posted on the site and made sure I tagged them. I was a pest and I truly believe that this is why someone from their Estate Unit Team (what?) contacted me. She may have gone to voice mail the first time (my phone tagged the #800 as spam), but once I had her direct line, I kept leaving messages until she got back to me. She assured me the checks were on their way via UPS (and they are), but I didn't let go there. I pursued the issue with my father's account, which she said she would look into. Amazingly, this morning his accounts were "back to normal" with all the money that was "on hold" as of Aug 3 now sitting there as if nothing had happened. BoA may have lousy policies and customer service, but they HATE it when you tag them on social media; use it to your advantage (non-stop) My advice to all, is if you're going to die, get your money out of BoA before you do!
I know there are and will be more challenges that I will have to face, but hopefully they will be less challenging. I'm ready for a rest before I get back to this...