Usually, our staff Certified Tax Cat handles readers’ questions about taxes, but he’s currently at a Warby Parker showroom shopping for some even less fashionable glasses. Filling in for him is Laura’s dad, a retired accountant and real live independent tax preparer. Exclusively on Consumerist this spring, Tax Dad answers your questions. [More]
Usually, our staff Certified Tax Cat handles readers’ questions about taxes, but he got his tax refund early this year and is on vacation, taking a salmon-watching cruise on the Pacific coast. Filling in for him is Laura’s dad, a retired accountant and real live independent tax preparer. Exclusively on Consumerist this spring, Tax Dad answers your questions. [More]
If the responsibility has fallen on your shoulders to close up the accounts and cancel the contracts of a loved one who passed away, it can be a painful, slow, and confusing process. Here are 9 tips to make it go smoother. [More]
Carl’s father had DirecTV service at the time that he passed away, and Carl called them up to cancel the account while settling the estate. The satellite provider chose to see his father’s death as a retention opportunity, using emotional appeals to try to get Carl to take over his father’s service at his own home. Carl was not pleased. [More]
Max Melitzer, who had been living on the streets since 1990, was set to inherit his brother’s $100,000 estate yesterday. But a cousin reports that Melitzer didn’t show up at the Albany, NY, bus station where he was due to meet him. [More]
Melissa’s father passed away at the end of January. She’s just now settling his estate, and most companies she has dealt with have been accommodating and understanding. The exception? Verizon Wireless, which told Melissa that it was her fault she hadn’t been able to contact them until they sent a collection notice. She owes–or, rather, her father’s estate owes–$362.80 that she doesn’t have on hand. They’re making a sad and difficult time even worse. [More]
A tipster wants to know whether adding his name to his mother’s accounts will open him up to credit issues should something go wrong. [More]
Stephanie just encountered a Chase CSR who I’m pretty sure will never fall victim to social engineering, and who would likely be unbreakable in a courtroom cross-examination, too. Of course, in Stephanie’s situation this just means that the CSR refuses to help her in any way at all, which isn’t the kind of thing you hope to find when you call customer service. [More]
Let’s face it, Michael Jackson had a spotty record when it came to managing his money. Sure, he earned a gazillion dollars making music and was savvy enough to buy rights to Beatles’ tunes, but in his latter days he also spent lavishly, millions more than his annual income, and he racked up a sizeable debt. In other words, you wouldn’t want him as your financial advisor.
“Maybe I should call the E*Trade Baby. He might give me better customer service.” Matt’s mother died last year and he has been trying since last year to liquidate her E*Trade CD and put it in the family trust. Every other financial institution has been able to liquidate the assets with no problem, but it seems after blowing their wad on funny Superbowl ads, E*Trade has nothing left over for customer service. Here’s Matt’s story, and our advice on how can get his problem fixed:
A new Bankrate national poll says that 57% of Americans don’t have wills, even though 76% of respondents said they considered it an important thing to have. This writer doesn’t have a will, but then again, I don’t have kids, and my “heirlooms” are all made by consumer electronic companies. What about people with offspring? It’s even worse: 69% of parents with kids under the age of 18 don’t have wills, even though 88% of them say it’s important.