Sunday, May 25, 2008

Like Talking To A Rock

After sifting through 1,328 boxes of my sister's 'stuff', which sits in my formerly two-car garage, I discover a few folders containing, among other things, one ancient Prudential life insurance policy, and a 401k statement from a previous job.
On the surface, it looks like enough to cover costs, and maybe a little bit, mid three-figures, to spare.

Calling Prudential, I discover the beneficiary is my long deceased grandmother. In order to collect, I have to send original death certificates($$), no photocopies, from Mary and Grandma, a newspaper article or some other statement verifying accidental death($), a notarized($) statement from next-of-kin, fill out no less than five pages of forms... and get this...
wait 40 days from date of death before these things can be submitted for processing.

Truly, I understand the necessity of death certificates and notarized statements, all of which cost money to procure, but the 40 days?
What the hell for?
As much as I might want my sister's death to be a bad dream I'll soon awake from, and maybe on 'Day 39' she'll end up knocking on my door again, the reality is far from it.
Mary is gone, and she's not coming back.
I would really like to get this stuff settled and done with so I can get to dealing with my own business: dealing with my own sense of loss. Some time to mourn to myself after I've 'been strong' for everybody else.

There's no reason to wait 40 days and extend the bullshit any longer. I've got people to reimburse, more things to pay for, and I really would like to bring this to a close.
And Prudential isn't offering much help.


Jade said...

I don't suppose your local news affiliate has any sort of consumer advocate reporter? It's a feature that the channel up here has recently started putting up on a near-nightly basis... and this is just the kind of thing they want people to call in with.

Bike Bubba said...

Hang in there--the funeral industry is renowned for the things they do to the bereaved who don't have a whole lot of alternatives.

If I had to guess, I'd guess that they'd tell you that the 40 day wait is for processing and verification of the data--a holdover from the days when you couldn't just fax a death certificate from the county coroner's office that very day.

Oh, and another thing; you might do well, if you haven't already, to talk with her car insurance company. That will also help cover costs of burial and so on. The truck was pretty much totaled, no?

Girl, Dislocated said...

I have a really hard time coming up with a single good reason why anyone should have to wait 40 days from the date of death. Is Prudential waiting for the Ascension???


Gino said...

this gets worse.
Mary died intestate.

now i have to try to set up an estate so i can administer it, and THEN start to claim the funds.

Bike Bubba said...

Sounds like you're bound for probate, then, in which case Mom & Dad may get to make some decisions. Hang in there, and you might want to talk with a lawyer if you haven't already. These things can get REALLY messy.

As always, am praying for you.

Gino said...

not worried about mom and dad. they are resigned to allowing me to handle affairs...
her estate will mainly cover her burial costs anyway, and anything left over will be split tween the folks.
jut trying to figure out how to get these affidavits i need to press claims. i'm not a legal heir, and so far everything i've found needs to be submitted by a legal heir.
i need that one special paper that allows me to act on the folks' behalf.
its maddening.

Girl, Dislocated said...

Utter madness... Unfortunately I don't have any useful advice or suggestions, but I am still praying.

Gino said...

Girl,...: even that is much appreciated. :)

Bike Bubba said...

Legal heir would be, unless Mary had a spouse or children (it's seeming "not"), your parents or yourself when it gets through what we would call probate here.

What you need, methinks, is a "power of attorney" document from probably your parents that will allow you to do this. Or get your parents to sign the papers after you fill them out.

Hang in there. And, if you haven't; write yourself a will.