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Do you choose online delivery for bills and financial paperwork?

If so, what arrangements do you have set up for having those bills paid and that paperwork reviewed if you have a long illness and can't do it yourself? Or if you die?

This message brought to you by Wells Fargo, which informed me when I logged on today that it had changed my statement delivery option to "online only." I was able to change it back, but it pissed me off that they did it in an "opt out" manner like that.

I don't LIKE paperwork and would prefer to use online delivery for such things, but even though I would trust my partners to take good care of me if I got sick, that doesn't mean I want to give them full access to my email.

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/820812.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. I prefer that you comment on Dreamwidth, but it's also OK to comment here.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 23rd, 2013 06:54 pm (UTC)
This is a good point that I hadn't though of before. I am awful at handling things when they come in paper form. I was much much better at it when I had an office in my house but I don't currently. So, everything comes online. Perhaps I will create a separate email address for my online billing items.
Aug. 23rd, 2013 07:03 pm (UTC)
I get mostly paper except from my ISP (e-mail) and phone (text). Easier to remember to pay because I can put it on my desk.
Aug. 24th, 2013 02:07 am (UTC)

Anything that isn't paid automatically *has* to be paper, otherwise it'll get lost in the endless stream of spam.
Aug. 24th, 2013 03:30 am (UTC)
Yeah, in my experience, companies will change the address they're sending stuff from without warning, so whitelists don't work too well to solve that.
Aug. 23rd, 2013 07:19 pm (UTC)
I don't, and I would really resent just being catapulted into doing so. I pay bills online, but the terms of service for the various websites consistently refuse to take responsibility for themselves. I am responsible for paying my bill on time to the nanosecond even if the website is down or wonky. They won't notify me, they won't provide a grace period. I'm supposed to keep track of their stupidities and failures and then pay extra to use the telephone, which I hate passionately, and pay by phone. No thanks. When they are reliable, maybe. I'd love to use less paper. But their attitude really really irks me.

Aug. 23rd, 2013 08:52 pm (UTC)
Yes, exactly.
Aug. 23rd, 2013 08:40 pm (UTC)
I don't trust online bill paying services; I prefer to receive the bills by email then pay by paper check.

With online bill pay, the worst case is very bad: the money doesn't get received and/or credited, but has been deducted from my account so I can't pay it some other way. Very worst, it might get credited to some whole wrong company, so I'd have three companys' phone trees to deal with to get it back.

Even if the transaction works okay, later getting a proof of payment can be a problem after several months, and may require visiting the bank and getting someone behind a desk to search their records, if they can do it at all. (Even when I've paid by a paper check! -- Now I pay the extra $2 to get images of all checks sent out in the paper monthly bank statements.)

The exception is, in a hurry I may use a credit card.

As to if I'm out of action, my partner would have a much easier time finding bill statements with account numbers etc in my email than on paper around my desk. Just clicking on Thunderbird logs into the email account.
Aug. 23rd, 2013 08:42 pm (UTC)
I pay bills online through my credit union, but I set up each bill individually as a one time payment. I still get paper bills for everything I can, so someone else could pay them, if necessary by writing a check. I much prefer this. What I can't understand is that the credit union (Wings) charges a fee if you make *fewer* than 4 payments a month with them.

Could you set up a separate email account for delivery of e-bills and nothing else, then give a few trusted people the account name and password? Or even put the info in an envelope to be opened in case of certain stated emergencies?

And don't put this, or your will, or anything like that in a bank safe deposit box. That will only be opened after your will is processed. (you *do* have a will, don't you?) If you feel you need one, the year's rent will buy a decent fireproof lock box at most office supply stores.
Aug. 23rd, 2013 08:49 pm (UTC)
I guess I'll have to set up a separate account for billing, but I really resent it, because that means I have to remember to look at another account.

Good advice about the will and the lock box. I have them but I only set them up earlier this year.
Aug. 23rd, 2013 10:47 pm (UTC)
Depending on the separate account you might be able to have it forward all incoming mail to your regular email address. Then you'll get everything in your usual space but have a separate space that your loved ones can access if needed.
Aug. 24th, 2013 03:07 am (UTC)
I'm less worried about fire than burglary. I figure a fireproof lock box would be the first thing a burglar would steal.

Most things, I put originals in the bank, after scanning them and putting multiple copies in multiple places. It's possible to arrange with the bank for one's partner to have access to the box, in various ways.
Aug. 23rd, 2013 10:34 pm (UTC)
I pay just about everything I can online. The exceptions are usually one time bills that are too bothersome to set up and reoccurring bills that the payee has proved to be a twat. I either do them as a one time deal or send a paper check. Should I die, my partner can get into Quicken and I have them all set up. Would he actually do it? Unknown but Not My Problem. If we both go at the same time my son will have a mess but if AT&T doesn't get paid, do I care?
Aug. 24th, 2013 12:46 am (UTC)
Do you also receive your bills via email? That's the part I'm trying to figure out.

If I die obviously I don't care, but if I am alive but too sick to pay the bills myself, I might kind of want my health insurance bill to continue to be paid...
Aug. 24th, 2013 01:07 am (UTC)
Yes and no. Some notify me via email but there is a "bill. Due" function in Quicken so I or someone else know to go look for them. And I'm OCD enough to want to check things including autopay.
Aug. 24th, 2013 02:15 pm (UTC)
You're the second person to have trouble with Wells Fargo on my FL today. And I also dislike when companies do sneaky things like that.

I have paper bills for the water and internet, but I think I'm going to pay them online.
Aug. 25th, 2013 11:54 pm (UTC)
I pay as few things online as possible. Paper or recurring charges for me. I think my panix account might be the only really meaningful one.

There have been so many terrible stupid online banking breaches that I feel I would be an idiot to expose anything but a tiny limited account in that way.

Since I live with a spouse and leave my computer on, I'm not too worried. Maybe I should be.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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