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A LEGAL LOOK: Well the Best Proof I Can Offer is that I'm Standing Here!

Richard Wilson, MFN Contributer

Richard Wilson is an attorney in Moundsville, West Virginia.  His offices, Wilson Law Offices, are located at 515 Jefferson Avenue

Pittsburgh, Pa.- 05-21-2009

“Sir, our records indicate that you are in fact, dead,” says the Social Security Administration clerk to the living person standing in front of her at the local district office. The gentleman was attempting to obtain a real estate loan, when his attorney learned that the bank, in preparing for the loan transaction, discovered that Social Security records indicate that the man is, indeed, deceased. Thinking this could be handled simply at the local Social Security office; he presented his current identification and demonstrated things consistent with life not death such as breathing, talking, and basically everything else that ceases with death. Yet, the office refused to change his status, as obviously wrong as they are, in their records.

Now I was wondering how else I might prove that I was alive, beyond, the obvious, “Well the best proof I can offer is that I’m standing here!” These are troubling economic times indeed, and this gentleman’s problems are compounded by the fact that banks apparently are reluctant to lend money to dead people.

My obvious first question would be, “When did I die actually?” “And, if it’s not too troubling, what were the circumstances of my death?” “Who for crying out loud was the doctor that signed my death certificate?” “Where’s the doctor’s office because I can’t wait to see the look on his face when he gets a load of me?” And, “Does that doctor have any other dead patients that are alive?” Of course, this would all be interesting information to learn. Thinking how really hard it might be to prove that I was alive, I started thinking of the fun I could have if I were dead, yet alive. And I would start with that clerk who insists that I am still dead. For instance, to the poor Social Security clerk, “If I am dead, then you are talking to a ghost, right?” “How do you feel about that?” “Do you talk to ghosts a lot?” “Have you seen Elvis?” “Do you have the phone number of my Congressman that I as a dead constituent and voter can call?” “Wonder if my vote still counts.” “Could you help me get on Oprah, Ellen, The View, Live with Regis and Kelly or Dr. Phil?”

Think of it! Being dead, yet alive, would end any of my worries about a public library book that was borrowed in 1982. One would think that there would be no more taxes, but that would necessarily require the Social Security head to talk to the U.S. Treasury head and the I.R.S. head, and after the exchange of all the necessary forms completed in triplicate, I would probably still be dead, and found to owe more taxes. Trying to unravel this, I’d be dead in the water. Of course I couldn’t any longer say, “If I’m lying, I’m dying” because I’m dead.

Back to the poor Social Security clerk, “Am I dead as a door nail?” “If someone sees me coming, am I dead ahead?” “If I am alive, are you dead wrong, or am I dead right?” “By me talking to you, is this just a dead end?” “I’m dead in the water aren’t I?” “You and this agency must be brain dead!” The clerk finally responds, “Sir I am having you escorted out of here.” To which

I reply, “Over my dead body.”

Lastly, I feel pretty bad for the dead gentleman trying to get a loan, and I am dead serious about that!

Richard Wilson is an attorney in Moundsville, West Virginia. His offices, Wilson Law Offices, are located at 515 Jefferson Avenue, and he can be reached at 304-843-2300 or at www.wilsonlawoffices.com.

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