23 January 2011
I'm seething. Stress and blood pressure levels are dangerously high. Ever since a near relative died 4 months ago, unnecessary obstacles have been mounting. First, because this was an intestacy estate and I live in a non-English-speaking country, I had to drive 120 miles to find a Notaire who understood written English to swear the Oath certificate. Then the UK Probate office decided the original wording on the certificate was insufficient, so another certificate was produced requiring a second 120 mile journey, cap in hand, to explain to the puzzled French Notaire why she must sign another paper. Eventually my poor relative's family home was sold, the new buyers moved in, but the solicitors still held on to the proceeds apparently looking for all and sundry to dip their hands into the pot. But I thought this was 'my' money! Now, the UK Dept. for Work and Pensions (DWP) has stepped into this apparent goldmine sitting in the solicitor's office and declared it too is making a claim on the estate! But, wait a minute. Was this a millionaire, with yachts and mansions to the fore? No, simply my poor bachelor brother. He lived and worked in the UK all his life. All he had in the world was his pension and his home. So, the DWP in its wisdom has decided that the estate cannot be distributed until it first investigates to see if the original pension claim by my 67 years old brother 2 yrs previously, was correct - and this could take months. At the most upsetting time imaginable, bureaucracy steps in in all its gleeful schadenfreude to cause unnecessary mayhem. Words fail me.