We are all equal in death, but life’s not like that. There are inequities though that one may throw at the other.
There was neither time nor space in the last issue to go into the intricacies involved when a partner dies. Aside from the obvious emotional issues, there are considerable commercial aspects to the devastating event.
Lesley Brown, Frankmarsh Stores, Barnstaple, Devon was extremely vulnerable when she lost her lifelong partner Bill and wanted to warn others what you might expect from suppliers: new forms to fill in acknowledging you are no longer ‘a partner’. So I featured Lesley in our August 17 issue.
Santander Bank hasn’t rung up to complain about the coverage nor has Smiths News, but PayPoint has taken great pains to explain its position, its worry over seeming to be inconsiderate, the steps it has taken to avoid any repeats and it’s worth passing these on.
When Lesley was told that she had to sign new documents because it was ‘company policy’, it really meant that PP was complying with what was a legal requirement.
The contract was signed by Lesley and her husband as a partnership, which is a legal entity. This partnership would have been dissolved on Bill’s death, so the contract would no longer be valid. It meant that, technically, Lesley had no right to use the terminal or to receive money from PayPoint. And PP would have no right to collect the money that her customers had handed over to her in good faith.
Similarly, a bank account for the partnership in both names would no longer be legally valid and Santander would be legally obliged to close the account and open a new one in Lesley’s name only (or new entity, depending on how Lesley chose to continue in business). And it follows that every organisation which Lesley does business with from the new account will need a new direct debit mandate or they will be unable to access it.