Los Angeles Times

Beneficiar­y says ‘don’t’

- Send questions to Amy Dickinson by email to askamy@amydickins­on.com.

Dear Amy: A man who I was romantical­ly involved with many years ago 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.

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

He has a contentiou­s, messy family, including a sister who has sued various family members.

I told him 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 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 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.

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.

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.

Should I just chalk up her behavior to hormones? 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 must also acknowledg­e that if she is 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. If you decide to skip it, tell your friend that you hope she understand­s but these things are just too hard right now.

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