Friday, February 13, 2009

Execution of the Will

I have to say that as executor of my father's Will, the process is a lot more complex than I had imagined.

In fact I had never imagined it at all. If I had thought about it, I guess I figured it was about no more than fixing the funeral and maybe cancelling some memberships.


The reality is that you have to actually become the deceased person in terms of their social persona. My spreadsheet, itemising all the entities and institutions with which my father had some formal relationship, gets bigger by the day.

I have to complete his tax form - which requires me to be familiar with all his income streams and expenditures (where are the P60s?).

To handle his savings I have had to apply for grant of probate (something I was barely aware of a few days ago): for this I will have to be interviewed in Winchester some time in March.

I emphasise that none of this is conceptually difficult. It's mostly endless form-filling and navigating the menus of endless call centres.

This morning, for instance, I called the AA to cancel his membership. We have not been able to locate his AA card.

After two levels of automated responses at the call centre, wasting five minutes of my life, I got the response "all of our operatives are busy at this time responding to emergency requests. Goodbye." and the line went dead. So what was the purpose of the voice options, purportedly navigating me to the correct back-office function which doesn't deal with emergency response?

Allegedly if I was an SJ personality type, I would be enjoying this ... but somehow I doubt it.