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Estate Planning With Ron

November 27th, 2010 at 06:01 am

I have very few friends. But here's the kind of conversation I have with the few friends I have:

Ron is telling me how he plans to dispose of his assets, during and after his lifetime. He thinks he'll be gone within 10 years, due to the prostate cancer. He has no children, and the woman he married twice (once before she left him and once after she left him) lives in her own condo but comes to visit the dog regularly.

He has two nieces. We went to visit them yesterday. When Ron and I were dating, many years ago,we spent a lot of time with his nieces. They were about 10 years old or so then, and I was about 29. Ron was 40.

Now his nieces are all grown up, married,with cute little kids. The older niece is doing very well; she and her husband are both CPAs with good jobs. The younger one is a school teacher who married her blue collar husband when she became pregnant. Ron didn't care for him much, he mostly did odd jobs while his niece is a first grade school teacher.

Ron has helped them out a lot with money when they needed it. His niece wants to have a 2nd child, but her husband said he wanted to save for a big barn to house all his trucking equipment before that. So Ron has made them an interest-free loan of $40,000 which may not be paid back if he dies too soon.

So Ron, I think, isn't really giving them money for a barn, he's giving them money so that Megan can have what she wants: a 2nd child.Don't ask me why the 2 are connected, but i guess it was money issues.

He plans to leave all his money to his nieces and draw down the equity in his house thru a reverse mortgage. After his death, he said, his wife can have the house to live in, mainly so that she can take care of the dog. (They don't allow dogs where she lives.) But she won't get much money out of it becus he'll have drawn down most of the equity out by then.

He realizes now that she's not really his partner, and probably won't be. He's finally realizing he's not getting much out of the relationship with her. He doesn't feel he can rely on her to dispose of his belongings after he dies, so he's made that a stipulation as part of the $40K loan he gave his younger niece, that they would have to agree to dispose of his material possessions.

He's still legally married to his wife and he's on her health plan til he turns 65 in a few more years. She had a slew of very serious health problems which he helped her with; now she's on disability. He was comparing my personality with that of his wife, wo's very different from me. He always makes me feel good becus he says out loud his assessments, which are that i've worked very hard over the years, i have a nice house and live in a nice town and now i have a very good job.

He's very good at validating the stuff you've done well. You're a spark plug, he said. A spark plug! Ron, that's the nicest thing you've ever said to me! I'm a spark plug! I actually got Ron to laugh, something that's hard to do these days.

After the cyber knife surgery failed to eradicate Ron's cancer completely, Ron went on estrogen hormones a few months ago, which is supposed to suppress the growth of the cancer. He can only stay on that for 3 years, and then it stops working. So he has to spend 3 years hoping they come up with something else that will work becus that's pretty much his last option. In the meantime, the estrogen is making him put on weight, and he already was overweight to begin with. He's growing small breasts.

And, I learned yesterday as we were driving home from his nieces, he also has a sleep disorder that makes him suddenly feel like falling asleep.

I remembered back to when we dated that he always fell asleep at night within minutes of his head hitting the pillow. Once, he even fell asleep during sex.

He kept saying it was sleep apnea, but i think it has a different name. He started fighting falling asleep as he drove us home. It might partly be due to the estogen, I'm not sure.

But I realized he was falling asleep becus he started slurring his speech as he was talking. At first, I thought he was having a heart attack. I looked at him and could see he was struggling to keep his eyes open. He opened the window for fresh air, and i put my hand on his arm to shake him. I was scared to death. He said he would stop at the Dunkin Donuts a few exits down the road and wouldn't pull over. We made it to Dunkin Donuts, he got caffeine and seemed better. He agreed to take the back roads the rest of the way home so we could avoid the highway, and then he even agreed to let me drive. I was greatly relieved.

So that's how we made it home. Now I have something new to worry about, that my friend's going to crack up the car someday.

7 Responses to “Estate Planning With Ron”

  1. rob62521 Says:

    Poor Ron! He's fortunate to have a friend like you to talk to and share with.

  2. ceejay74 Says:

    This was a very moving and vivid story. Thank you for sharing. I really hope the estrogen helps, and that he doesn't crash his car before then!

  3. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Sleep apnea can involve such poor sleep quality and oxygen starvation at night that the person will fall asleep repeatedly during the day. Slurring the speech as they do so is not unusual. Poor guy. His health sounds so bad. It's scary, isn't it?

    Is his wife's name on the title of the house and the reverse mortgage with he bank? If not, I don't see how she could have it after he dies. Won't it belong to the bank?

    Also, don't most states stipulate that spouse must leave at least a certain portion of their estate to a spouse? I think in my state it is at least 1/3. If Ron lived here, I don't think he could leave all his money and possessions to his nieces.

  4. Ima saver Says:

    You are a good friend!

  5. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Your friend's disorder may be Narcolepsy. That is the disorder one of my tutoring students has. Last year, before he was officially diagnosed, and given medicine, he could actually fall asleep while walking down the hall. This year, while he is doing much better (when he takes the medicine!) there are still times where conducting a tutoring session with him is pretty much a waste of time. I thought working with first graders took a lot of patience -- try repeating the same question ten times because the student continues to nod off in the middle of it ...

  6. MonkeyMama Says:

    WE have a lot of sleep apnea in both our families - falling asleep often is definitely a sign. Narcolepsy is what is more commonly associated with "falling asleep a lot."

  7. Jerry Says:

    I was thinking narcolepsy, as well, but it could be that his sleep apnea is just making him exhausted. It sounds like he has a lot going on, and it has to lead to a ton of stress for him. I'm glad that he has a friend to talk with about things. Are there no other surgical options for him that will be covered under his wife's insurance?
    Jerry

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