In our best interest
February 6, 2013 9:27am CST
I've discovered that perhaps, when it comes to utility companies, one should have more than just one family members name connected with it. My father in law passed at the end of December. When we first purchased our home, in order to save us money, to keep us from having to make a deposit, he put the gas bill under his name. That was nice, and after all these years, we didn't even think that would someday be an issue. It became one. I went to pay the bill at the beginning of January, online. It indicated that since I had made a recent payment I should proceed with caution so I didn't over pay. So, to find out exactly what was owed, I called. Hold on, here is where the ride begins..... I explained the situation. They said I could pay the bill off and place my home under my name. They gave me the amount. I paid, it, all of it. They created a new account for me. Supposedly, everything is done. In the mail I recieved a check, from the gas company, made out to my father in law. Apparently, I was charged too much. So, I call them. Oh no, that was a deposit refund. No, it wasn't, the paperwork with the check indicates otherwise. Well, the payment was made to the old account and we won't write you a new check. I'm sorry, I simply refuse to lose money, as it was my money used to pay. According to my accountant, we can still run the check through, yes, under his name. But the fact is, we should have A: insisted on doing things ourselves, or B: handled this years ago. But this leads me to wonder, what if it a spouse going through this? With only one name on the account they could have to go through the same thing. And may have to not only close out the account, but possibly have to start from scratch and pay a deposit. This is why I'm thinking perhaps it would be best to have both names on such accounts. Besides making things more easily accessible for the spouse/partner, one would not have to start from scratch. And one would not have to get upset moreso after losing a loved one from having to argue with these companies. And to be honest, all they asked about concerning him and the account was his social security number. They didn't ask for a death certificate or anything else. What if I had been some identity theif? Anyhow, just a suggestion to possibly save you grief later.
6 Feb 13
I am always telling my husband this as well, I totally agree. Even regarding credit, everything is in my name, and if anything were to happen to me he would have 0 credit rating and have issues with the bills. He doesn't want to bother putting his name on things. Actually the only thing his name is on is our hydro!
• United States
7 Feb 13
Something else that should have joint info is vehicles. He had 5. One was already signed over to our business as it was used for the business. Another will be signed over to us once everything is said and done. The other three he used. Only one of them had his wife listed on it along with his. She can't do anything with the other two until the will is done being probated. So, she has to pay insurance for vehicles that aren't even in use. She plans on selling the three and getting a single car for herself. The red tape is insane!