Gransnet forums

Bereavement

Dealing with the details

(44 Posts)
NainCC Wed 29-Jun-22 14:08:12

My husband died recently, an expected death, and I've been keeping busy with all the admin that needs to be done, notifying the banks etc. I'm sure I can do it, in time, but of course am distracted/poor concentration/sleepless so hope I'm not making mistakes. How did everyone else manage? Just struggle through or have help?

Septimia Wed 29-Jun-22 14:20:19

Have only dealt with parents deaths, so not in the same situation.

However, I would suggest making a detailed list of things to do (if you haven't already), itemising all the bits within those things and ticking them off (add things as they arise, too). Then, perhaps, find someone who will check things for you.

A difficult time for you, of course, so good luck.

tanith Wed 29-Jun-22 14:20:56

My condolences to you on your loss. I found having something to concentrate on helped me deal with it all when my husband died. Every day I'd have one or two things I'd determine to deal with that day no matter what having a plan helped. Don't try and do it all at the same time and if you need help ask for it. My daughters were there if i needed them.

H1954 Wed 29-Jun-22 14:25:47

I am sorry for your loss Nain. I have only dealt with my parents deaths but still the same amount of administration. My suggestion would be to take it a day at a time and keep a record of what you have done already, that way, when you feel distracted for any reason you can easily pick up where you left off. Likewise, should any family member offer to help they can easily determine what stage you're at.

Stay strong 💐💐

Dolcelatte Wed 29-Jun-22 14:28:46

Prioritise, make a list and try to tick off one thing a day, always ask to speak to the bereavement team, faster and more sympathetic.

So sorry, it’s nearly 20 months for me now, and I know just how difficult it is. Just try to keep going. X

Dolcelatte Wed 29-Jun-22 14:29:41

Still struggling with the French tax authorities!

1summer Wed 29-Jun-22 14:46:59

So sorry for you loss, hope you are OK.
I dealt with both my parents finance, admin etc when they died and I bought a notebook and did lists lists and more lists. Ticking off things every day or week helped as it felt as though I was getting somewhere.
I also had a number of folders marked for pensions, banks, investments, utilities, solicitors, estate agents etc. These were to keep all paperwork, I often printed important emails to avoid scrolling through trying to find them.
My husband is terminally ill and if think about all this I feel real anxiety. But I hope I am stronger than I think and will get through it. I am sure you will to.

Georgesgran Wed 29-Jun-22 14:59:18

I agree with taking it a day at a time. I set myself one job a day, because in the midst of Covid, there were hardly any face to face opportunities. So, one day it was the rigmarole of closing DH’s credit cards, another was to inform his ISA provider. Keep notes of who you’ve spoken to, when and what was said. There’s little urgency really if you had a joint bank account to honour Direct Debits, etc. As someone has mentioned, given an option to state your business - say bereavement and you’ll be dealt with faster and with respect. I only learned that after trying to close DH’s Barclaycard for 2 months, without success. Our Solicitor refused to see me just for a signature, but another practice signed and stamped the document outside, in the pouring rain!
I’m now starting to dispose of his books and clothes, which I’m finding far more difficult.

Marmight Wed 29-Jun-22 15:06:48

So sorry to hear of your bereavement. When DH died very suddenly, my daughters were a great help. I dealt with most of the paperwork but they helped with irritating on line stuff and some long phone calls. Each day I made a note of what had been done; a kind of tick list. In the first few weeks it’s easy to forget what you’ve done. It’s part of the grieving process and also a cathartic occupation. There’s so much to cope with so just take it day by day and if you don’t feel like it, don’t do it that day. I decided that the worst had happened and not dealing with ‘stuff’ wasn’t the end of the world. I also had a very kind solicitor which helped.

Greyduster Wed 29-Jun-22 15:32:52

In April, when DH died, my son, daughter and son in law simply took over all the admin for me. They are all practiced at that sort of thing but even so, some of it was like pulling teeth. I dare say given time I would have been able to do it myself but I’ll always be grateful to them. As someone has already said, most large companies have a bereavement centre, and the Government’s “Tell us Once” facility was very helpful in short circuiting access to some agencies.

Gymstagran Wed 29-Jun-22 16:18:05

My daughter died very recently and the amount of admin was and still is horrendous. We did use the tell us once system but everything now has to go through probate . Son in law is Iranian so some of the processes are completely alien to him. You just have to do a bit at a time. So sorry for your loss.

fiorentina51 Wed 29-Jun-22 17:45:38

My husband died suddenly and unexpectedly 3 months ago. My son and daughter in law who both work in the financial sector helped me set up online banking but the rest of the admin I tackled myself.
My main problem was not being able to use my credit card as my husband was the account holder so both our cards were frozen. Fortunately we had a joint current account so I could still write cheques.
Most bank, pension providers and insurance companies will have a bereavement team that will deal with your queries.
As others have said, I found it useful to make a list of tasks in order of priority and did my best to tackle 2 or 3 a day.

A few weeks after my husband's death I discovered this checklist which you might find useful..
www.gov.uk/when-someone-dies

Don't be afraid to ask for help or for something to be clarified.
Three months on I'm pretty certain I have dealt with most things, though the odd issue still crops up.
I hope things prove to be straightforward for you
My condolences for your loss. Take care of yourself. 💐

SusieB50 Wed 29-Jun-22 17:58:24

My DH died two and a half years ago. I managed all the admin which fortunately wasn’t too onerous . He had a civil service pension and a private small pension which was immediately transferred to me ( we had joint bank accounts) . I found all the bereavement departments very helpful and I used the Tell us Once service which worked well.
I kept a list and worked my way through it . Maybe see your GP to help with sleeping. I found a walk every day sometimes with a dear friend helped me . But it’s really tough , be kind to yourself, take your time, accept any help that’s offered and limit yourself to do a set amount each day.

grandtanteJE65 Fri 01-Jul-22 12:21:18

So sorry for your loss.

Dealing with my parents' estates, I found that banks, insurance companies, car registration, pensions dept. and the like fairly easy to deal with, as these companies or public offices are professional and know the drill.

Keeping a "to do list" and crossing out what you have dealt with, and writing down who is phoning you back, or sending confirmation does help.

What maddened me, were the magazines, book subscriptions etc. Long after they had been notified they were still sending letters addressed to the deceased. No amount of phone calls persuaded them to update their databases so they were not still sending letters to a woman who had died a year and a half earlier, thereby upsetting my father all over again.

It was not until I rang for the nth time and said straight out, "Surely you can think far enough to realise that losing your wife after 53 years of marriage is hard enough, without you upsetting my father by persistently sending adverts addressed to my mother.? that these companies got round to deleteing my mother's name and address from their mailing lists.

I pass the tip on for what good it might just do.

IF you have forgotten some or other company, most are very nice about it, if when you remember, or they contact you, you phone up and say, "I am sorry, I must have forgotten to notify you of NN's death last summer."

So do as much or as little as you feel able to, and don't worry about possible omissions.

Beautful Fri 01-Jul-22 12:44:37

So sorry to hear of your loss. My husband passed away suddenly 6 years ago while visiting our daughter & son in law ... I had help with my paper work from my daughter ... had skin cancer ... hubby knew this ... had to have 3 surgeries went private , problems with this , problems with pension my lovely daughter sorted all this out for me, God bless her. You may even find things to sort out financially & changing names on documents in months to come. One thing I did find annoying & upsetting was phone calls ... can I speak to .... I was fed up of saying he had passed away ... in the end to one company I said ... sorry he isn't here at the moment but I will give you his address The Pearly Gates Heaven ! Nothing more said ... wonder why phone calls stopped !

Aveline Fri 01-Jul-22 13:56:44

When carrying out the post bereavement admin after my Dad died we were getting through it all gradually but got stuck with a bank account he'd opened in Switzerland for his holidays. They refused to close the account or clear it without a letter from the deceased. Trying to deal with unhelpful organisations like this just seems to make a bad time worse.
My condolences to all the bereaved Grans.

knspol Sun 03-Jul-22 11:59:46

NainCC I think I might know how you feel my DH passed away just 5 weeks ago and not a day goes by without something arriving in the post that sets off yet another worry. Even trying to open a credit card in my own name has been a problem. Added to this all the pension/ISA's/bank accounts and then foreign pensions and bank accounts all at a time when it seems I can't hold a thought in my head not to mention bursting into tears several times a day. I have lists everywhere and am sure i'm messing things up and making wrong decisions. I was on the phone for almost 2 hours with an Isa provider, I kept asking to be put through to the bereavement team but they didn't seem to want to do that so was passed to three different people before finally getting put through to bereavement when I just got the message 'unusually high volume of calls' try using online portal - which I can't access. I gave up and cried. Once (hopefully) this is all sorted I guess then the grief kicks in all over again.

Greyduster Sun 03-Jul-22 13:55:12

I was only once reduced to tears on the phone and that wasn’t anything directly related to DH’s affairs, but to his sister’s POA for which he was an administrator. The lady at the building society that was holding her accounts was so ridiculously ham fisted and lacking in empathy that after half an hour with her I burst into tears and put the phone down. I sorted the whole thing on line the next day in minutes!

Georgesgran Sun 03-Jul-22 14:27:58

Having read and contributed to this thread - I think we should all get ‘things’ up to date. At the moment, I ail nothing, but how quickly things might turn! My DDs know who and where my Solicitor is and how to contact my Financial Advisor. They know where I bank and where savings are. I’ve composed a letter giving them my passwords/codes and how to access my mobile phone. The latter is quite important because we were unable to access DH’s mobile, where he had some little personal videos we wanted to transfer to our own phones.
Anything to make the task easier for them.

NainCC Sun 03-Jul-22 19:09:49

Thanks for all your comments. I've been laid low by Covid on top of everything but now surfacing again. We did have all important details on a spreadsheet but our finances were seperate. I've just requested the original will and it was given to me without the codicil....sigh. So I've shelved that for now, and what to do about Probate. All your advice has been helpful.

Floradora9 Sun 03-Jul-22 21:24:56

We put all the bill and bank accounts we had in joint names . My DH spoke to our credit card company and they agreed I could speak to them at any time on his behalf. I also got a credit card in my own name as I thought it would be useful if I was left a widow . We have a list of all our investments and have shared it with family as well . Is there anything else we sould do ?

Aveline Sun 03-Jul-22 21:29:08

Floradora do you have POA? Just a verbal agreement from a credit card company might not be enough.

Shandy57 Sun 03-Jul-22 21:41:51

So sorry for your loss NainCC, it doesn't help that so much has to be done when you are feeling so numb.

My husband died unexpectedly in 2016. My kids were 20 and 22 and unable to come to the house because of their grief in the early days, so I was alone with it all.

I was in such a state I got our solicitor to handle probate for me.

I did all of the other admin, and kept notes on a lined pad, and had a notebook with notes of the action I'd taken. I paid for 10 Death Certificates, and kept a file of all correspondence in chronological order.

The worse thing for me was 02 - they wouldn't speak to me, and my husband paid the contracts for all of our phones. At the time the bank wasn't allowing me access to his account, as I was waiting for probate. I was told I'd have to go into the shop twenty miles away with his death certificate, and at the time, I was having panic attacks driving. I screwed up my courage and did go, about week 3, and showed the young man the death certificate. In a very off hand manner he said 'we don't need that'. I was so upset, and complained to their HO, it was such unnecessary stress.

The most important thing is to get your house into your sole name on Land Registry, if you are doing your own probate, action that as a priority.

Do remember to be kind to yourself, until someone walks in our shoes they have no idea how hard it all is, do accept all offers of help.

Alygran Sun 03-Jul-22 21:42:59

First condolences to you Nain.

Lots of good advice here. It doesn’t all have to be done in the day.
Now I’m on my own I found this helpful.
Age Uk’s very useful booklet where you fill in all your relevant information on banks, investments, subscriptions, pensions, utilities and so on.
www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/money-legal/end-of-life-planning/lifebook/
I have one that I filled in after DH died to make it easier for my girls when the time comes. They have LPAs for me but it’s the detailed stuff (Netflix, kindle unlimited, Fitbit….) that will take some time to figure out if they are still in use then.

Worth looking into and it’s free.

crazyH Sun 03-Jul-22 21:49:41

Altgran - yes , I have that booklet - you have given me a nudge - I must complete it soon …