17 April 2007

Things You Don't Think About

I was so proud of myself for getting GH's signature on an important form last week. It's the form we need to discard remaining stored sperm from our IVF journey. We'd been meaning to take care of this for a while, but the form needed to be notarized and we thought we'd have more time and blah blah blah. On GH's last lucid day, I managed to remember to have him sign the form, and our lovely upstairs neighbor, who is a lawyer and notary, notarized it for me.

What I didn't think about was the fact that GH's signature is needed on our taxes. Huh. Well. I'm trying to get around this situation by e-filing, but the system seems to be overloaded. (What, on the last possible day to submit taxes? Really? Shocking.)

I have a feeling this is but one of many examples that I will have of the life annoyances that accompany the grief.

23 comments:

Michele said...

I'm assuming someone has probably already told you this, but get many, many original copies of the death certificate. It's amazing how many people (creditors, Social Security, etc.) will need an original. Thinking of you, and wishing you didn't have to deal with this.

Angela said...

Yuck, that sucks. Having to deal with any type of bureaucracy can be so frustrating and draining, hope you don't have to deal with too many issues or problems. Thinking of you and your babies and sending good thoughts and prayers.

bg's Little Sis said...

In my thoughts...your ability to keep moving forward is amazing. On what Michele said, we got a dozen originals when my father died, and still had to get more after that for the various forms, etc. They don't make it easy on you.

THinking of you and your package is on the way still...have 2 more items to pick up for it:)

Lots of love,
lil'sis

Colleen said...

You and the twins are in my thoughts.

Dorcasina said...

I have been surprised/appalled at how byzantine the bureaucracy of death is; I am still finding out about details I was completely unaware of, that involve rituals and forms dating from time immemorial but *still* unable to be deciphered by anyone associated with them. Sigh.
If you have a friend who can help with calls for information, making copies, etc., enlist them! For the long haul.

It took over a year and over 1000K in lawyer's fees, missing documents, and bad information just to get my house in my name.

Bah! And good luck. If you can keep a sense of humor about it, all the better. And I found writing lengthy, strident emails and complaint letters helped me to vent all sorts of bad feelings (grief, rage, grief, injustice, grief, loneliness, despair, unspecified hostility...)
Hang in there, dear--

Yankee T said...

Dorcasina beat me to it. I was going to say that I remember both her and Badger having to go through endless amounts of bureaucratic b.s. after their husbands died. Like being ripped apart in your heart isn't enough.
Thinking of you. I hope you're looking at a lot of pictures. Keep that happy smile of his alive.
Lots of love-

Anonymous said...

You are doing a great job, my thoughts are with you always. I wish I could help,
Cindy

Kim said...

I'll never forget the story my grandmother told about when my grandfather died suddenly(they were fairly newly married). Their checking account was listed as Mr. AND Mrs., not Mr. OR Mrs., and it took her all kinds of trouble and time to get it fixed so that she had access to her money. It's times like that you think people would be more understanding.

Praying for lots of peace and love for you in the coming days.

Lynn said...

Of course, the IRS is too busy right now for phone calls, but the IRS Web site says to write "surviving spouse" by your name as you file the joint return and send it in. I believe you also write "Deceased" where his signature would go. If you don't have the correct figures, and I'm sure you do, you send in an estimate and refile as "amended" later. That will be a painful process, but you can at least get this much paperwork out of the way. You can use the search block at the IRS site and enter "deceased taxpayer" to get more details. So sorry that you have to do this. It has been many years since I worked for the IRS, but we used to see this unfortunately frequently.

Cibele said...

I came upon your blog today by the many candle light lid in memory of your husband in blog land. I just wan to offer my support, prayers and hugs! I am very sorry for the loss of your dear husband. You are an amazing woman!

Liza said...

Well for crying out loud, if the IRS can't find it in their collective hearts to grant you an extension then I don't see why they give them out at all. That said, if I were you, NOT SUGGESTING THAT YOU DO IT OR ANYTHING, I would just have someone ELSE forge his signature so that I could honestly say I didn't do it and send the effing taxes in anyway. I mean geez, your honor, he was ill, and his handwriting was shaky, and...I don't think they do any kind of verification, and as long as you're not doing anything questionable with deductions then I don't see why they'd question it at all. I would be especially tempted if there was any hope of a refund. At least, *I* would be. Not you. And *I* wouldn't even be tempted to do such a thing in any situation short of the one you're in the midst of, but...geez. Like you don't have enough to do with your time and energy. I'm so sorry about everything.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe how you are handling things. I can only hope that I could be like you if God forbid I had to go through what you have.
Your twins are VERY lucky.

Anonymous said...

I realize words from a stranger can't speak adequately to your loss, but I'm so sorry and keeping you and your twins in my thoughts. As to this specific tax hassle, my mom used to work in tax preparation, and she seconds the suggestion above that you write "deceased" next to his name where the signature is required.

Shaynee

Julia said...

I am sorry for all the bureaucratic bs you are going through and all you will still have to go through.
Maybe this will help, just a little-- I heard on the radio this morning that because of the noreaster the deadline for MA residents has been extended by two full days, so until midnight Th now. Maybe if you wait until tomorrow, you will be able to talk to someone on the phone.
I am so so sorry...

Kathryn said...

Oh...all that miserable busy-ness and bureacracy. Bravo for achieving that signature last week...and hoping that there is a way through the tax issue without too much misery for you. When my parents died I was 18, and had, not surprisingly, no money of my own...and their accounts were frozen on death, so I had a mad few weeks where I was having to borrow from school friends to eat...the system is not helpful.
Will keep on praying, of course.

Bianca said...

Yes, simply write Deceased where his name would be. They do not need a copy of the death certificate. But as michele said, do get plenty of copies of the death certificate (I got about five I think). Sometimes, they don't have the cause listed on the orignal cert. and you have to wait for the amended one which does list cause. This is usually necessary for life insurance etc.

There was a lot of beaureaucracy when my husband died, but I was amazed at how helpful most people were. My one complaint was that although Social Security is actually pretty organized and easy to deal with ON THE PHONE, the local offices are HORRENDOUS (in my experience). I had a horrible time with them and they confused me repeatedly (including mentioning the fact that I did not have the same last name as my husband as a reason I might not receive full benefits!) Obviously, that's totally false, but even though I *knew* that it was false, I was still easily overwhelmed by any hoop I was made to jump through.

If you can take one step at a time, that's best. It took me easily 12 months to deal with everything, but I just did one thing at a time and reminded myself it would all get dealt with eventually. I even found comfort in paperwork while I was grieving.

I'm new to your blog, but having lost my husband when my daughter was three, I can very much relate to your story. Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

Hello:
Just came upon your blog today and read your entire archive. My deepest, deepest condolences to you and your family. My sister died 9 months after being diagnosed with long cancer - I hate cancer too.
Kelly in Canada

BethGo said...

Oh my God. I hate taxes. I wouldn't have thought about it ether. What a pain!

michelle said...

I just came upon your blog and spent the last 2 days reading your archives. I imagine that nothing anyone can say can heal your hurt. I'm glad you have your family right now. Also, please know that there are many of us who don't know you personally but are thinking about you and your babies. You are an amazing person.

Anonymous said...

copies, copies and patience! I had to send the refund check back to get reissued in my name! My gentle spouse died the day after tax day...

and expect the bureacracy and junk mail to pop up from time to time (jury duty!). Twenty years this week and I still get mail for him once a month...

Katherine said...

I was able to get the bank to deposit a check made out to my deceased father into his estate account. Even though I filed for him as deceased, they still made a check out to him. Not the only craziness I found, either.

I've only just found you and have read much in the last few days. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Anonymous said...

Just so you know, you can have a representative take care of Social Security stuff (the survivor's benefits -- if you have a job, yours will likely be phased out, but the children will receive theirs until they are 18). The representative doesn't have to be a lawyer -- I'd just pick an organized and diligent friend. You just have to sign a form (they can get it from the SSA website) authorizing them to speak to the SSA on your behalf (the signature does not have to be notarized). You'll need to complete three forms (one for you and one for each of the twins). When someone close asks how they can help, let them do this for you.

Anonymous said...

Having just done my taxes for the last several years, not that caregiver stress and widowers fog had anything to do with the procrastination,
on the signature line, write or type,
deceased and the date of death
the IRS will wait for you to file as long as you dont owe any aditional $$ there is no penality. usually.
Ed