Ask Amy

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - by Amy Dick­in­son

Dear Amy: A man who I was ro­man­ti­cally in­volved with many years ago an­nounced to me that he is mak­ing me the ben­e­fi­ciary on his in­sur­ance pol­icy. I am fond of him, but could never spend my life with him be­cause he con­stantly made bad de­ci­sions through­out the years. We went our sep­a­rate ways, but have re­mained friends.

He has since had two chil­dren with two dif­fer­ent women. Th­ese chil­dren are in ad­di­tion to the daugh­ter he and his wife had be­fore I met him.

He has a very con­tentious, messy fam­ily, in­clud­ing a sis­ter who be­haves like some evil in­sti­ga­tor from a bad Life­time movie. She has sued var­i­ous fam­ily mem­bers. Pure lunacy.

I told him that I did not want to be his ben­e­fi­ciary. He says that I am the only con­sis­tently re­spon­si­ble per­son he knows. He said he knows I would carry out his last wishes.

I know that if he passed be­fore me, th­ese crazy peo­ple would make my life hell. I told him em­phat­i­cally not to put my name on that pol­icy. He says he doesn’t care what I say, he’s do­ing it any­way.

Is there any­thing I can do, if he goes against my wishes and makes me a ben­e­fi­ciary? — Un­will­ing Ben­e­fi­ciary

Dear Un­will­ing: It is my un­der­stand­ing that anyone can refuse to be a ben­e­fi­ciary or “waive” a pay­out, even if you are named on the pol­icy.

If you refuse pro­ceeds the com­pany be­haves as if you had pre­de­ceased the pol­icy holder, and the money will pass on to the per­son named as a “con­tin­gent” on the pol­icy, or the next of kin. Dou­ble-check the pro­ce­dure for re­fus­ing des­ig­na­tion in your state with a lo­cal at­tor­ney.

Given this man’s per­sonal sit­u­a­tion, even des­ig­nat­ing next of kin and car­ry­ing out his “last wishes” might be chal­leng­ing, and you are wise to avoid this mess.

Dear Amy: My hus­band and I have been through a lot to­gether. We have both wanted to have chil­dren for sev­eral years. I have health is­sues that are com­pli­cat­ing get­ting preg­nant.

I have con­fided in my best friend about my is­sues, fears and dreams of hav­ing chil­dren. She has al­ways said that I should wait, giv­ing rea­son after rea­son why it would be a bad idea to get preg­nant right now.

Well, guess what? My friend got preg­nant. After telling me I should wait and say­ing that she her­self was go­ing to wait!

She is also tem­po­rar­ily rais­ing a rel­a­tive’s child.

I was truly hurt. After try­ing and try­ing, and with her dis­cour­ag­ing me from try­ing, she ca­su­ally just blurts it out one evening. Just two days ear­lier, I thought I was preg­nant, but the test con­firmed I wasn’t. I told her about this, and two days later she an­nounces her preg­nancy!

Now she acts like she is an ex­pert on rais­ing chil­dren. I feel like since she an­nounced she was preg­nant she has been catty, mean and dis­tant.

I re­cently re­ceived an in­vi­ta­tion to her baby shower. I am not sure I truly want to go. I love her and her fam­ily, but now she feels like a com­plete stranger.

Should I go to the shower de­spite how I am feel­ing? Should I try to dis­cuss this with her? — Baby Blues in PA

Dear Blues: It seems that you both backed out of your tacit agree­ment not to try to get preg­nant. Ei­ther that, or your friend had an un­planned preg­nancy (you im­ply that you’ve been try­ing).

You must also ac­knowl­edge that if she is cur­rently rais­ing a rel­a­tive’s child, her head is in par­ent­ing mode. It is pos­si­ble that her be­hav­ior is due to hor­mones, but so might yours. She should re­spond to you with com­pas­sion, but you should also be hon­est about your own com­pli­cated feel­ings.

It makes sense that you might want to avoid this baby shower; women struggling with fer­til­ity also some­times strug­gle with the con­cept of other peo­ple hav­ing ba­bies. If you de­cide to skip it, tell your friend that you hope she un­der­stands, but th­ese things are just too hard right now.

Dear Amy: I felt so sorry for “Lost Mother,” who lost one baby to mis­car­riage and was struggling with grief and guilt with her other child, many years later. Our cul­ture does not deal with grief well. I hope she gets help now; I think she re­ally needs it. — Been There

Dear Been There: I agree.

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