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Helping a dying client secure his family’s future
Helping a dying client secure his family’s future

Helping a dying client secure his family’s future

Insurance for a friend with terminal cancer enabled his wife to never "dress as a widow."

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I met David as a prospective client, and as we both shared a love for field hockey, we became very good friends. David generally did what I recommended, even if not in full. Occasionally, he preferred insurance with a cheaper premium, but at least he always did some of the things that I suggested. He had two lovely children that he was putting through junior school and was happily married to Louise. Life was good. 

One day, David called me and asked if I was sitting down because he had some bad news. He was diagnosed with cancer, and his doctor had given him 18 months to live, maybe less. It was the end of September. “What do I have to do, Simon?” he asked. 

We discussed his critical illness policies, which paid out 28 days later. His estate planning was in decent shape but was not entirely set up for his imminent death. So, we started changing things, and I worked with his lawyer to get a new will and trust drawn up.

I had never really spoken much with Louise, and David and I agreed we needed to change that. We arranged a joint meeting while the children were at school. By now it was early December, and David was deteriorating fast. I went through the plans, including life coverage on David, protection plans on Louise’s life and their respective pensions. Louise nodded a lot but didn’t say much. David waited for me to finish my presentation and then said to Louise, “I want you to promise me one thing. Please do as Simon says on our finances.” Then, as she agreed, he turned to me and said, “I trust you to look after Louise and the children like you have looked after me.”

The lawyer called me just before Christmas, after my office was shut for the holidays. He explained that he had the paperwork ready, but the client needed to sign it. Could it wait? I called David, and we agreed it couldn’t. So, I drove over on December 23. We made all the arrangements as we agreed and as he desired, and I drove away. David died on Christmas Day.

Louise received enough money to take care of her for the rest of her life. The children had their own money, mostly used to complete school, but with some left over to help them as they started out in adult life. They understood the value of financial advice from an early age, and both now own houses. David always did what I suggested for legacy planning and insurance protection, even if not to the full extent. Without that, the story would be very different. I always feel privileged to help clients do what is best for them and their families, and though terribly sad (David was a friend, after all), I got a huge degree of satisfaction seeing the outcomes described above. Louise never had to dress as a widow.

Simon Gibson is a 25-year MDRT member from Burwell, England, UK. Contact him at sgibsonmdrt@gmail.com.