[UPDATE: I called the life insurance company, and told them that I need to cash out the policy taken out for me. The woman told me that this was not the type of policy that you can cash out, and cancelling it now would not get any money to me, or my grandmother. Since my grandmother told me that she can no longer afford to pay for the policy, and since I can not afford it, I have no choice but to cancel it. I feel bad that all of the money she paid into it is going to just disappear, with no compensation to either of us, but this is what she told me to do. That’s that. All done.]
Hello, friends. I need some advice, and don’t really have anyone I can talk to about this who could offer unbiased input, so I’m putting it out there, hoping to get some feedback.
Yesterday morning, my grandmother contacted me via Facebook, telling me that she had something very important to talk to me about, and that she would be calling me later that night. I am not particularly close to this grandmother, and we don’t talk often. She divorced my grandfather when I was 12 years old, and moved to Florida to marry her now husband, Richard, whom she met online. My grandmother does not work, and hasn’t worked in over 30 years. She marries for money, at least, that’s what it has always seemed like. Richard comes from a large, wealthy family, and they have always seemed very well-off. They go on cruises at least once a month, she takes trips several times a year, they belong to a health club, she goes dancing frequently, they buy a brand new car every year or two, and she is constantly posting pictures of all the updates and redecorating that they do inside their large, beautiful home. Not exactly the poster couple for needing financial assistance.
Last night, I received an email from my grandmother. Richard has stage 4 prostate cancer, which my father informed me of last week. Without chemotherapy, he has five or six months left, which is heartbreaking. With chemo… who knows. They opted to go the route of chemo, which he starts on Monday. The reason for my grandmother’s email was to inform me that: when I was born, she took out a life insurance policy on me, without my mother’s knowledge, or my own, and has been making payments into it for 26 years. She tried to cash it out for herself this week, without me even knowing that it exists, and found out that since I am over 21, she would be unable to get any money without my consent.
I did not even know you could do that. I know nothing about life insurance, or taking funds from your policy. I did a little reading on it, and found out that depending on how much it is, you can owe taxes on your policy, depending on how much you take out. Would I have to pay taxes, even though she is getting all the money? I don’t work. Kyle doesn’t work, and is trying to get back into school, but has been having back-to-back health problems. We need the money, too, but I guess she needs it more.
She did not email me to ask me for my thoughts, or consent. She emailed me, telling me that I need to call the life insurance company as soon as possible, because she needs the money immediately. Period. I am at a loss. I just found out that I have a life insurance policy, something I have been wanting to start up for myself, but have been unable due to finances. I am 26 years old now, with a family, and a child of my own. My grandmother stated in her email that she started it up shortly after my birth in case something should ever happen to me, my mom would be okay financially to cover the costs. So, am I wrong in feeling insulted? The funds would still greatly help my family, my husband and my son, should something happen to me. Why is that worth nothing suddenly? Am I missing something? Am I being selfish? Heartless? I don’t know.
I am not naive to the outrageous costs of cancer care in our country. My other grandmother, before she passed, also needed chemotherapy. Fortunately, she qualified for government aide, and being over 65, did not have to pay a dime out of pocket. So now I am curious, if they can not afford to cover the costs of his chemo, and don’t have insurance to help them, does he not qualify for some sort of financial assistance? He is, I believe, 78 years old now, and not working. They have always been very anti-government help, but surely, if she is desperate enough to drain her granddaughter’s life insurance policy to pay for the cost, then they qualify for something, right? Once again, am I missing something?
I asked my mom for her thoughts, and all she had to say was that it was strange that she would ask, neigh, demand this of me, especially when they have always made it very public knowledge that they have money. Flaunted it, even. I don’t know what to do. Am I in the wrong for wanting to hold onto this policy, even though I never knew it existed before yesterday? Or is she entitled to the money because she was the one who put it all in there? I feel angry that she never told me about this, because all the times I desperately needed money, including being temporarily homeless, she never made a peep. But, all of a sudden, she needs me to drain it all for her husband? I don’t know. It feels so wrong.
I emailed her back expressing how sorry I am for her situation, and sent her the link to several reputable cancer websites, which list dozens of resources for helping to cover the costs of treatment, hoping that she will at least try to get some other sort of help, if she hasn’t already. If he does qualify for help, I feel like she needs to put her pride and her prejudices aside, and get him the help he needs.
Should he not qualify… I guess I have to give her the money, right? Right? Wrong? I don’t know. I’ve gotten opinions from friends on social media who seem to agree with me on this one, but I still feel awful. I am hoping that she looks more into it, and we won’t need to go the route of cashing it out. But if she can’t afford to pay into it anymore, what happens to it? I honestly know nothing about life insurance.
I have a number to call to talk to someone, but I don’t even know what to say. Any thoughts or opinions on the matter would be incredibly helpful.
Thanks for reading, friends.
2 thoughts on “I Need Some Advice.”
Ok, I will admit I don’t know how the rules of insurance policies work over here (being originally from the UK) but, my Mum took out policies for all of us (3 children in total) and when the policy expired (she only took them out til we were 18) she gave us the money, no questions asked. She also did the same when my two children were born (they got their money when they were 18). NEVER was it assumed that my mother would keep the money. It was done almost as a savings scheme for the children, something to help them start in life etc.
In your circumstance, as you are not even close to your grandmother I would blatantly refuse to do this. Is it your fault that she has maybe frittered away all the money on a luxurious lifestyle without any thought for later life expenses or illness? NO! You are not in a position where giving up a sum like this would not impact you. You are not being selfish, you are being a good mum and thinking of yourself and your family.
If your grandmother sincerely took this policy out for you to have the money should you need it, she should not be asking you to cash it in!! Just my two cents!
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Thank you so much, Wendy.