I drove over to the solicitors yesterday.
It’s not a very long drive – around ten miles – but it’s on narrow twisty roads that seem to attract a hell of a lot of traffic. To add to this there must be a dozen [at least] roundabouts and constantly changing speed limits not to mention roadworks. It’s also an area notorious for speed traps.
Anyhows I arrived at the solicitors bang on three which was the appointment time. I parked in their front garden and went to the front door which was locked. It was also plastered with those fucking Virus notices about masks, hand hygiene and all the usual crap. There was also another large notice telling me that all business is to be transacted in the porch. That’s a nice little touch of confidentiality – visit your solicitor where every passer by can see you? I rang their doorbell and a bloke answered.
I told him who I was and that I was to collect some papers as per arrangement. He nodded, said he had them ready and could I show him some identification. So I whipped out my Driving Licence and my Public Services Card. He said that was fine and could I show him proof of Herself. So I showed him her Social Welfare Card. He shook his head.
“It has to have a photograph” says he. “A Driving Licence would be fine”.
“She doesn’t drive. In fact she’s an invalid and essentially bedridden” says I.
“I’m sorry to hear that but I need a card with a photo on it. It’s the law.”
“I don’t have one. She doesn’t have one. What alternative will you accept?”
“Anything with a photograph” says he and muttered something about money laundering.
“Just as a matter of interest” says I, “what is the point of photographic identification if you don’t know what she looks like?”
This stumped him for a while.
“I have her passport and it’s only slightly out of date. Will that do?” I tried.
“No. It has to be up to date.”
“But she’s still the same person she was when the passport expired. She looks the same and has the same details.”
“It has to be up to date” he repeated.
I was getting annoyed. In actual fact I had already arrived and was really annoyed.
“Look” says I, “You can see the situation. I have proved I am who I say I am and the papers are in my name so let’s just cut the red tape and get on with this.”
“Sorry” says he. “I can’t. It’s the law.”
I gave up. Jobsworth wasn’t going to budge. The officious little cunt had won the round. I sat in my car in their front garden and had a pipefull to calm the nerves. I emptied my ashtray out the door and drove home empty handed.
Maybe I can forge the date on her passport?
You could just write a new will – but the deeds would still be a problem. Don’t you have an Irish version of our Land Registry?
I just checked and there is indeed a Land Registry which should be up to date. The old will can stand as it is [apparently €300 to write a new one, Fuck!]
I’ll just stick with the distant crowd for the moment. It’s not like I use them on a daily basis.
I had a similar problem a while back when I had Power of Attorney for my mother-in-law. She was resident in a care home, had no driving licence nor passport, and was disabled (unable to walk). A bank was being difficult about accepting the PoA. UK disability law laid a duty on the bank to make “reasonable adjustments” to its processes to enable someone with disability to gain access to their services. The problem was kicked upstairs to Head Office where a very helpful chap demolished the logjam. Maybe Irish law has something similar that you could invoke.
I’m actually not that pushed about the solicitors. It’s really just a matter of convenience, However the reason I am really concerned is that it was a dry run before approaching the banks. Presumably they are going to be just as messy? I’ll probably start tackling them next week.
One result of the government trying to protect you from everything, including yourself.
The most feared phrase one can possibly hear; “I’m from the government and I’m here to help”.
With your skills, use some photo shoppy thing to give your Teashop a blue rinse perm and stick picture on some plausible International Charity Organisation pass card as a Special Agent. That is your Good Lady. Keeping a low profile because of Russian assassination threat.
Stick a prominent ear mic in one ear.
Tell yer man that he has to show his ID.
Take a picture of him and his ID with your smart phone and then start muttering into your coat cuff.
Tell him that he got away with it this time, but his history is on record. The equivalent of “We know what you did.”
Fight fuck-wittery with its own weapon.
I don’t know about your place but in the UK many of these rules are not ‘law’. The law will often be vague and say something like ‘reasonable provision’ or ‘appropriate procedures’ while the actual rules they quote at you are made up by the companies or trade bodies or even their insurance companies to make doubly sure they comply with the law. I had a long row with a UK bank to close an account after a relative’s death, getting exactly the same ‘it’s the law’ nonsense over one piece of paper, and only when I threatened to go to the ombudsman about their unreasonable rules and sue them for withholding payment of what had become the beneficiary’s money did things get sorted out.
Considering they are solicitors, it’s quite reasonable to say “OK, show me the law you’re quoting” – they should have it to hand. That will then almost certainly prove, as Woodsy42 says, that there are adequate provisions in ‘the law’ to allow your transaction to take place. Putting a legal one over on solicitors is always good fun, drags the rug out from under their pompous arrogance.
A threat to complain to the Irish equivalent of the Law Society might bring results.
I’d suggest taking out all the money from the bank that’s closing, take it home and stash it somewhere safe, and wait until the “…it’s the law” is straightened out. But you’d probably need identification to do that.
I’d be dead nervous having all that cash floating around. Herself would go mad spending it, for a start. Sure I can just wire it to another one of my accounts if necessary.