I’ve just taken on the role of executor which involves dealing with the administration teams of some of this countries leading financial institutions. Experiences to date has been mixed, ranging from the absolutely dreadful to the simply brilliant – all within a single brand!

‘Seeing’ the actual death certificate use to be the norm and some institutions still ask for it, seemingly unaware of the post pandemic realities of death including:
• Registering the Death in the old days had to be done within five days – the first appointment offered anywhere in the county was 17 days later.
• Allow a further three weeks for the maximum of five certificates to be signed and posted
• further certificates then be requested – five at a time, but expect similar delays.
• Demand for the certificate has increased – Amazon Prime requested a copy before cancelling the Prime account. An hour later they saw fit to email the deceased to say they were sorry he was leaving and all he need do was call a number if he changed his mind!

The biggest gripes go the life insurance companies who have grown by acquisition. One institution had acquired no less than 8 policies. Having spent 10 minutes getting through to a live person they recognised one number and I was given the speel about must see the actual certificate. When asked about another number it was ’not this department’. The phone system cut me off while trying it transfer so it was back to the start. 15minutes later it was ‘not this department’ let me cut you off while I attempt to transfer. Third time around I asked about registering a complaint so they said let me put you through to the right person. They were brilliant – send a scanned copy of the certificate while we speak then on to completing the claims form. A few days later that policy paid out, so one down and seven to go!

My conclusion – almost everyone I have spoken to are delightful – they know exactly what to do but are being hampered by the organisational structure created by middle management and inadequate IT and telephone systems……

There is so much more to say…

A school report might read – ‘Glimpses of brilliance but significant room for improvement’