Sunday, December 12, 2010
Come all ye grifters
Mom has been gone a month and I have been appointed executor of the estate, which means its my job to take care of the bills, dispose of the property and distribute the estate.
It also means that I have to deal with the medical bills, and the bill collectors that come with them.
Because of HIPPA, no one connected with her medical care can talk to anyone regarding her medical condition. Because of financial privacy laws, no one would talk to me about the hospital bills. So for the past three months, NOTHING has gotten paid because no one would decipher her medical billing. Well, now that she's dead, they all want paid, immediately.
I suspect that most of the bills are legitimate, there are some "suspect charges" that the hospitals are going to have to prove to me that she legitimately owes.
Like the $25 from 2001 that "Christina" Ohio Health claims Mom owes.
"Really," I said. "You are trying to tell me that she owes you $25 from 2001? For what?"
"I don't know sir. Perhaps you could ask your mother what services she received in 2001," said Christina.
After I explained that Mom died in their facility, I also pointed out that 1) Christina should be able to look this matter up and tell me what the charge is for and 2) Christina should also know that the only way for me to contact mother at the moment is via Ouija board.
"Are you trying to be sacastic?" she asked - which in and of itself was truly sarcastic, I pointed out.
"Look, our records don't go that far back," she said dryly.
Neither do Mom's, I replied. So I guess we are at an impasse.
My point is that unless they can provide me with proof of service, the $25 is to me the same as being scammed by a grifter. They expect me just to pay an amount simply because they want it? Come on, people, evidence – where is the evidence?
The other thing that I am waiting for now that the will has been entered into probate are the people coming forward and holding out their hands. Under Ohio law, they have six months to file their claims against the estate. So if some goof ball cut her yard in 2005, he/she/it would have to submit their bill and then I have to take action against it.
Thankfully, because I’m the keeper of the family “kennel” papers, I don’t have to worry about whether or not someone who shows up on the door step claiming to be a long lost niece, nephew, forgotten child, etc. I know who belongs, who doesn’t and where all the family skeletons hang. And trust me, and I say this to anyone thinking of slipping anything past me, the family closet was cleaned out, long ago. And I made sure they were completly cleaned out.