I work for a government agency, and with the quarantine I’m now working from home. I take customer calls and assist them best as I can. Some of this is paraphrased because it was a very long, round about conversation.
Tl:Dr at bottom.
This lady, L, called in. She wanted a form with her father’s tax information on it for the benefits he got through our agency in order to file for his taxes. He is deceased, and we can give her a copy of that form provided she can show that she is the executor of his estate.
Now, just so everyone is aware, our agency doesnt recognize Power of Attorney. A lot of people think that’s good enough, but it’s not. You can have a POA without being incompetent mentally or physically and you are required to handle your own affairs with us unless you are too disabled to do so. As well, POA ends after death, so even if she had been the POA for her father, she wouldnt be any longer. Idk if she was, but that’s not an avenue that she can explore, regardless, now that he has passed.
Anyway, she had called in before and spoke to another rep. She is not the executor for her father and so, we cannot send her the form. What this rep managed to do for her (which we will do sometimes as a courtesy) is get permission to send the form to the address we have on file for her father. The catch is that we cannot verify the address with her because she is not legally authorized as his representative after his passing. Personally, I wouldnt agree to do that if I were her. I think that’s way too risky since I wouldnt be able to verify the address. But, because we deal with people with time-sensitive needs that often are unable to ID themselves and other such circumstances, we do it as a courtesy for some types of documentation. She apparently agreed to it, then called back presumably to try to get a different answer from me.
She explained to me that we agreed to send her the docs as previously described but claims she didnt understand why (which is bull but okay) and I explained the whole spiel about needing the executor.
L: Well, that’s not what OTHER REP told me. She said I just needed to send in his death certificate and a letter requesting the form.
This was also bull. I know for a fact that OTHER REP she mentioned never goes against policy and what she described is against policy. It’s that way for a reason. Theres a lot of fraud that goes on-especially between family members-so we have to have evidence that you have a legal right to the documents.
Me: Ma’am, I’m sorry. I dont know what OTHER REP might have told you but we need documentation to show that you are the executor of your father’s estate in order to send you the forms directly. Sending them to the address on file is just a courtesy.
L: Well, like I told OTHER REP, there is no estate.
Me: I understand that but you dont technically have to have an estate in order to become executor of an estate.
L: But there is no estate.
Me: Like I said, it’s not necessary for you to become your father’s executor.
L: But if theres no estate how to I become the executor of the estate?
Me: You have to file for that and be appointed by a judge.
L: No, I dont think you understand, there is no estate. How can I become the executor of something that doesnt exist?
Me: Ma’am, like I said, you dont technically have to have an estate in order to become the executor of that. It’s pretty much just a title. You get appointed that to be able to handle someones affairs after they pass away.
L: I do handle all his affairs!
Me: You’ve been handling everything for him?
L: Yes and I need these forms to go to ADDRESS so that I can file his taxes.
Me: Okay, ma’am. Do you have documentation showing that you have the legal right to handle his affairs?
L: What documentation?
Me: The ones to show that you went to a judge and were given that right.
L: We never went to a judge for that. All I do is pay his bills.
Me: Then you arent the executor of the estate.
L: But I’ve already told you that there is no estate!
More back and forth of me explaining the same thing over and over that I’ll save you
L: Look, I need the documents to go to ADDRESS.
Me: I understand tha-
L: This is ridiculous. My lawyer never said anything about this.
Me: Ma’am, as I’ve already said-
L: I sent in everything you asked me to, what more are you going to make me do?
Me: Ma’am! You need to let me speak.
she finally shut up
Me: As I’ve already explained, you have to be the executor of the estate to get that form. There does not have to be a literal estate for you to obtain the title. As a courtesy, we agreed to send the forms to the address on file. I cannot verify that with you. If you can go to your lawyer and be assigned his executor by a judge, and provide us with the original documentation as proof, we will be able to release those forms to you directly. But if you do not do that we cannot give you anything off of his profile regarding his benefits.
L: So you can’t even tell me where they are going?
Me: As I’ve already explained, we cannot. They will go to his address that we have on file.
L: Fine, whatever then. I’ll just have to watch out for it and pray that it actually goes to the right place.
Me: Okay, ma’am. Did you have any other questions I can answer for you today?
L: You can kiss my ass. click
And she hung up.
Now, I’m sure a lot of people will say that she should have that information if she can prove shes his child. But, again, in my experience (here and at the bank I used to work at) most fraud happens between people who know each other-and children are notorious to financially abuse their parents. Because this is a sensitive legal matter, we have to follow policy here. What we did for her was already bending the rules. I explained to her what she needed to do, and we already did what we could do within our authority.
Executor of an estate is basically someone who is legally appointed to handle all bills and distribute any money or property left behind by the deceased. So, even if you had barely a penny to your name, if someone can show a need to be your legal representative after your passing they can still apply to become your executor. She just didnt want to do that. I guarantee she called someone else to get another answer. They always do. But she will get the same answer because that is just policy. But she can feel free to waste her own time. I just found her last comment funny because I wasnt really expecting it.
Sorry for the long post.
Tl:Dr lady wants her deceased father’s tax documentation but refuses to become executor of the estate in order to do that and tells me to kiss her ass when she doesnt get what she wants.