Oh my word. Dealing with everything since Kramer passed away has been a bit of a battle. I keep thinking I have things done and then it’s something else. Seriously, I wish someone had put together a checklist of “to do’s” when your spouse dies.
Here’s an example of a few of the things that have been dragging me down:
I found Kramer’s wallet. I started going through it. UGH. Do these cards need to be cancelled. Um, I suppose. So I started the process of calling the bank…Yep, his debit card was cancelled already. I didn’t need to worry about that. The gas card account was in his name and my name. We couldn’t just drop him off the account. We had to cancel that whole account and we had to start one in my name only. I have no idea why we couldn’t just have been dropped Kramer from the account. There was another cards that were that way. There was so much time on the phone.
Then three weeks later I got a call from the hospital. We have a big enough bill there that I have to make payments on it. Between my cancer testing and Kramer’s cancer treatments we couldn’t pay all of it off immediately…so payments it is. Well I got a call from the hospital: “Your June payment has been denied by the bank.” WHAT??!! Seriously, there is WAY more money in the account than the payment. This doesn’t make sense. Then she started rattling off the last four numbers of the Mastercard. UGH. That was Kramer’s Mastercard. Hmm. I wonder what other payments were coming off of our joint account but were registered to his debit card. So we had to set up new billing to my card.
The cell phone company was awesome. Kramer’s phone was on the payment plan. They didn’t make me finish paying for the phone and we were allowed to keep it.
Our investments were a mess. Most were in his name as he’d turn 59 1/2 before I would so they had to be moved to my name. That was signatures and paperwork. Some could just transfer, others needed have a whole new account made.
Life insurance. UGH. I thought that was supposed to be easy. No. Beneficiaries all needed to be changed as I owned all of the policies on the kids now. Then Kalissa wanted to cash her’s in so that was another batch of paperwork. One person said I needed to sign something the other said I didn’t. I was told they couldn’t possibly have things ready for when I wanted them and then I went to the office for something else and the paperwork was there. They finally paid out. I was about in tears more than once. I don’t recommend the local office of Northwestern Mutual Life. If I could I would pull my stuff from there as I’ve gotten conflicting information so many times but I can’t so I guess next time, it will be the kids that have to deal with them.
Getting signed up for Marketplace Health Insurance was a mess. It’s all based on predicting of income. How do I predict my income? Obviously I’ll have less tax write offs as I can’t spend as much money with only my income coming in. Kramer’s boss offered to pay for July insurance but if I did that then I couldn’t get a tax credit for the health insurance. I was told I had to file before this day but then I missed the day and it was all okay. Then I needed a form for this and it needed to be sent. You can imagine my fear of thinking that for even a day I would be without insurance. I can’t do that at all!! I finally have all of that in place. Sigh of relief.
The bank was a juggle of decisions. Everyone at the bank was AMAZING. Of all the places I worked with by far the bank was the best. Kramer had some retirement…some could be cashed in…one could be rolled to mine…this had penalties…this didn’t…what about this? What about that? Did I want my house payment to be less..that could be juggled. Much of it was all contingent on what the gal who does our taxes suggested. We had to make sure I didn’t make too much money so I would qualify for Obamacare. It was a lot of decisions to make but the gals were great. I highly recommend Bank Iowa if you’re an Iowan.
The headstone for the cemetery….after a bunch of back and forth emails to get the design and lettering in place, we were told they would try to get it in place this summer. UGH. I had no idea that would take so long. I ended up telling them that we were planning on doing something for Kramer’s birthday at the end of September and could it please be done by then…so fingers crossed that it doesn’t take forever.
The casket place called. Was I happy with the casket? We had a locally made one. It’s made by monks from the Dubuque area. I didn’t know how to answer that…I’ve never put the two words, casket and happy, in one sentence before. Yes…I guess I was happy with it…but then I asked for a bill. It’s been over and month and no bill. The funeral home was slow to send a bill as well. I stopped in to the funeral home a week after Kramer passed and asked for a bill. They looked at me really strangely. For me and my perspective, I want these bills paid. I want the checks cleared. I want to know there are no surprise bills and the financial part of my life can move on. I think they all think it will “lessen the blow” to wait a “respectable time” before sending bills. UGH.
Hospice…what will they take back? What can we donate elsewhere. We had a lot of feeding tube formula left (that I had to pay for and insurance didn’t cover)…can’t that go to someone? I hate to throw it away. Well the cases can be donated. The individual cartons can’t.
So many things were a “hurry up and wait” sort of process. Hurry and meet with the tax lady so I can get the health insurance for me together. Now wait for an insurance card. Hurry and sign this paper….now wait for them to process…and sign another paper and sign another then wait for them to process. On top of it all, so many of the offices are open only during hours I am working. AHHH!!!!!!!!!!
It’s hard…I would just like all of this decision making and paperwork to be done and finished. I feel like all of this wrapping up the finances and paperwork is hard, annoying and painful. I just hate it. I want to focus on the happy part of my life with Kramer. I feel like all of these things are SO SLOW and a dead weight but most importantly they keep me from the good happy memories of Kramer.
Seriously someone needs to come up with a checklist….but as I’ve been told, each death is a little bit different depending on what a person had for health insurance, life insurance and everything else. I know it sounds whiney. Sorry…It’s the state I’m in. Take away this paperwork crap, then I think I’d be doing pretty good.