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Life Insurance


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#1 truman

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 11:05 AM

When I was well, I truly wasn't aware of all that my company was providing. Presently I'm on a disability payment plan through my company that pays monthly benefits until September. I was aware they had a life insurance policy, but was notified that I would have to assume the premiums on termination of my position. The premiums were around $2,000/year for a policy that paid out the sum of employee yearly salary. I said no thanks, but they informed me that I could apply for a waive of premium based on the extent of illness, and could have this policy with no premiums due. I filled out the paperwork, never thinking they would approve it, but I received an email today, that the policy payout has been accepted with no further premiums due!

Wow, to learn how much you are worth after you're gone! That is just one aspect of one's estate, and cumulative of everything, the estate would be extensive. I've come to terms with the estrangement of my sons, so now I need to venture on how I would want my estate expended should I happen to go (believe me, I have no intent of that happening in the very near future :).

I don't mean to discuss such a grim topic, but I do know that I want my friends who have helped me so during this snag in my life, to be compensated for their constant help and support. I do know, I don't feel at this point I need nor want to leave my sons anything, as they have demonstrated they have no desire nor feel any obligation to associate on any level with me since becoming ill. Some may say that I should understand their ignorance and/or fear of this illness, but I would have to disagree in that I live this illness everyday and am extremely scared and ignorant of it as well and so need their support and understanding as we explore it together.

I have grown beyond the estrangement, and so want to give to those who have given of themselves. I would love to hear your input if you have been put in the position of estrangement and how you did or would react in and of that position.
Tru

It is what it is...........

#2 Sheryl

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 11:13 AM

Tru, I am happy to hear that things are looking up a bit for you. Don't loose that email. You may need that as proof years down the road if your company stops paying your premiums. Keep everything pertaining to your loss of job because of your illness. Something may come up in the future that you will need that information and wished you had kept it.
Strength and Warmth,
Sheryl

Sheryl Doom
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International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#3 truman

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 11:18 AM

Sheryl:

I have kept files in my yahoo account regarding my employment, disability, etc. and emailed key people as well to effect a circle of people who need to know what with regard to what is going on with me.

In this day and age of flying emails, etc. I know how important one has to be with all the info.

Hope all is going well with you. Did you ever take that cortisone shot?

Linda
Tru

It is what it is...........

#4 Sheryl

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 11:28 AM

Tru, I never was even offered the cortisone shot. I think the orthopedic doctor was so mad at me for not wanting immediately relief by having surgery. He told me therapy wouldn't work. It is working great but the process is slow and takes time out of my week. I am doing much better about 80% back to normal. The therapist said my shoulder should take about 6 more weeks to be at close to 100%. I spend 3 days a week up to one hour each session. I don't care that it takes 2 or 3 months to heal as long as it gets better.
Regarding your yahoo keeping all important information. A hard copy in a safe or deposit box can't be lost or crashed if your system fails and you lose everything. It happens. You know me. Its better to be safe than sorry down the road. My husband says I go into overkill mode. I take care of business so it will take care of me in the future it I need it to.
Strength and Warmth,
Sheryl

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#5 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 11:53 AM

Hi Tru,

I know families that get along beautifully but the elders still leave most or all of their assets to charities. I think what it depends on is what cause they want to advance when they pass away; what legacy they want to leave. Oftentimes family members have plenty of their own financial resources, either that or they'd very likely royally mismanage an inheritance, anyway.

In the absence of a will or living trust, it would automatically go to heirs (meaning, family). We set up an unconditional "Living Trust", which is incontestable, to convey our wishes. That way the family can't fight over things (as Trusts are not probated; they are just automatically implemented by the Trustees). It's more expensive to set up a Trust. But the cheap way to do it is to buy a software program, where you do it yourself -- and then, take what you've created to an estate attorney who specializes in trusts, to have them review it.

We paid about $300 for the estate attorney to change just one word. But it was a vital word, well worth the money. If you mean you want to support the efforts of this forum, we are a full-fledged nonprofit agency. Just list our full name (International Scleroderma Network) and our address and phone number in the documents. Do not put just "scleroderma" as there are many scleroderma agencies.

Then be sure to review the document at least once a year to keep it current. That just takes modifying one addendum page and getting it notarized, which costs about $1.00 altogether. It is a lot more effort than a normal will, but it avoids all the probate tax and probate court and legal contests. That in itself is worth its weight in gold!

As for the issue of how much to leave the children, you might want to consider leaving them a nominal amount or portion of your estate. Not because they deserve it based on their current behavior, but more because it can express an aspect of forgiveness, which in a way is a legacy in itself.

I bundled the adventure of estate planning with planning my funeral, as well. It was actually a lark to be in a funeral home when I didn't have to be. I just called a friend (actually my ex-mother-in-law, as I thought she'd have the right attitude for all this) and we went on the spur of the moment. She had a delightful time picking out the perfect mauve pillow to complement her complexion. I was surprised at how great I felt when it was all over, as though a huge stress had been removed.

We've changed our minds every few years on exactly how much we want to go to the ISN, etc. -- provided there is a penny left, that is, as illness and infirmity can consume net worth very quickly. But that only takes ten minutes to fix...and makes sure that our wishes, however shoot-in-the-dark they seem to be sometimes, are followed.

I'd also recommend giving a token sum to someone who would totally not expect it, since they are not family or a charity. For the silly reason that it will warm your heart to think that, for little reason at all, you will have pleasantly surprised an unsuspecting person when you're gone. Sort of like the last laugh!
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#6 smac0719

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 12:56 PM

Tru, thanks for the post and Shelley, thanks for the helpful info. I've been wanting to "pre plan" my estate, funeral and the likes, but haven't done it yet. This just gave me the extra "push" I needed.
I may have Scleroderma, but Scleroderma doesn't have me!

#7 Bunky

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 12:45 PM

So here's a loaded question--has anyone applied for life insurance AFTER being diagnosed with sclero? I have a term policy that will expire in a few years. I just assumed that would be it, I wouldn't be able to get insurance anymore.

Bunky

#8 Lucy

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 03:27 PM

Hi Tru,
My scleroderma hit hard and fast and I got knocked off my feet and continue to struggle with fatigue and mobility. At the time (year and a half ago) my 17 year old son stood in the door way one day and said he was not going to do what I asked of him (primarily empty the dishwasher) while I laid on my butt on the couch. That night he moved out of our home and has not returned. Lately we have been having some light conversations and he did come for a visit on Mother's Day. But I always hurt when I think of him, just walking out when I needed him the absolute most in my life. I was good to him so I just never expected what happened. He still does not think he did anything wrong or really acknowledges how sick I am. Not sure I think that much of him anymore.
Lucy
Diffused Scleroderma
Diagnosed Dec/06
First Sympton Nov/05

#9 Lucy

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 03:46 PM

Hi Bunky,
My husband sells life insurance so I asked him your question. He advised that some term policies have a clause which will allow you to convert them to permanent policies without further medical requirements as long as you do it before it expires. He also mentioned that some term policies can be automatic renewal based on the new premiums with no medical updates as long as you indicate it is required, but some are also just non renewal term policies. So really what you need to do is find out what options your policy really contains way before it expires so you can make an informed decission on what to do with that policy. Hope this helps.
Lucy
Diffused Scleroderma
Diagnosed Dec/06
First Sympton Nov/05

#10 relicmom1

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 05:53 PM

Bunky,

I was denied coverage for a life insurance policy because of the scleroderma. I tried lots of companies and they all told me they would not insure me. I did finally find one agent that was willing to give it a try. I filled out all the paperwork, their nurse came drew blood, did vitals and took medical history. That company also turned me down. I have not tried one the companies that advertise on TV that says "you cannot be turned down and your coverage can't be cancelled"
Peace :)
Barbara aka relicmom1

#11 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 06:12 PM

Hi Bunky,

Getting life insurance after a diagnosis of systemic scleroderma can be challenging, to say the least. I searched for life insurance for a long time with no success, until I finally found Steve Kobrin Agency. Steve shopped my case around for months and was finally able to find a good policy for me.

As if I hadn't imposed on him enough by then, I also had the temerity to ask him to post a web page about the challenges of getting life insurance with scleroderma. He did that, and then also joined our ISN's Scleroderma Webmaster's Assocation with our handy "Scleroderma Sites to Surf!" program. Here is his SWA site listing --

Scleroderma and Life Insurance. Scleroderma is an interesting condition to underwrite for life insurance. Individuals (including small business owners) must work closely with their life insurance broker to ensure the best life quote possible, given their particular sceroderma symptoms. Steve Kobrin, LUTCF.
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#12 barefut

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 11:34 PM

Bunky,

I found Steve through Shelley and can't say enough good things about him. Unfortuantely, after making my premuim payments for a little over a year, I had to cancel the policy due to lack of income. It is rough but I know I can always count on Steve.

#13 truman

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 03:15 AM

Lucy:

I know exactly how you must have felt that night; you would assume the caring you feel about your children is an automatic return and to find out differently is so confusing and painful.

As I mentioned before, I think it's their fear of something actually being wrong with you. I've been sole parent in their life since 18 mos. and 4 years. old; they are now 27 and 31. There was absolutely no contact with their father during those years and to date. I think they just can't believe someone that strong could fall. I also believe they don't want to be burdened with helping us, and of course, what would their girlfriends think of such a condition, causing them embarrassment as well :angry: . My older son was especially belligerently voicing his opinion that I'm not ill, just need to get up off my rear and change my lifestyle, exercise more and perhaps travel; what a moron as I think back. If I was laying down when he got home, he began slamming things, punching doors, etc. I found myself staying in my room more to avoid the tantrums. My home, which I worked to hard to get, and now I was a prisoner of my own bedroom.

I found it best to leave the situation alone, as their painful responses could only further my illness. I choose to shut that door and not look back, just as they did. Isn't that weird? After all these years of closeness, becoming strangers just passing in the night.
Tru

It is what it is...........

#14 Bunky

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 03:55 PM

Lucy, Barefut, Shelley, and Barbara,
Thanks for your input. It gives me hope that maybe I can continue to protect my family with insurance. I will look into it.

Lucy and Tru,
I'm so sorry you are going through this disease without the support of your sons. Hang in there!


Bunky