Tough Conversations: Advice for Preparing for the Death of a Parent

Posted by on Oct 7, 2019 in News |

Author: Sarah Nash Property & Casualty Account Manager Insurance Trust | Equinox  I know that this is a very tough subject to discuss, but I wanted to share the important things I learned from my personal experience of losing a parent.  The following are many important questions to ask along with some informative discoveries I made regarding all of the medical, insurance, financial and personal matters that arise. One piece of advice I offer to you is to do your best to prepare for the death of a parent. It’s going to happen. We can’t avoid it. We all tend to think that we have plenty of time. Sometimes you don’t. Sometimes a sudden illness can cause death to happen quickly, and I’d be willing to bet that at least half of us are unprepared for this event.  Talk to them now while you’re both able. Not one part of the conversation is fun or easy. No one likes to think about their own death and departure. I think the older you get the harder it is for some to discuss their ultimate wants and wishes at the end of life.   Medical Decisions What do your parents want to happen if they were to fall ill and could not make their own medical decisions? Make sure your parents have a healthcare directive. Make sure your siblings all have a copy. Make sure any Aunts and Uncles have a copy. Make sure your parents’ doctors’ have copies. Make sure a close friend of yours has a copy in case something happens to you. It’s not a bad idea to have a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) medical bracelet/necklace for them to wear if that choice happens to be theirs. Do they want to donate any viable organs?   Will Preparation It’s helpful if your parents have a will drawn up. In the event of your parents’ death, if there are assets to be divided and they have nothing in writing, the state in which you reside will decide all of that for them. It’s a long, arduous process that most family members do not come out of with any warm, fuzzy feelings. There are many prepaid legal services that can assist with this task. A lot of parents have an attorney they’ve used for various reasons throughout their lives. That attorney may be able to help or at least refer them to an attorney who specializes in drawing up a will. If your parents aren’t keen on writing a will, at least get together with them and include all siblings, grandkids, and anyone else who may be left an item. A roll of masking tape and marker can be used...

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Updated HSA Contribution Limits for 2020

Posted by on Oct 4, 2019 in Benefits Update, News |

Each year the IRS releases updated health savings account (HSA) and high-deductible health plan (HDHP) limits for the coming year.  2020’s limits are listed below and further information can be found on the IRS website HERE or by contacting Heather Baird at   2020 HSA Contribution Limits Individual: $3,550 ($50 increase from 2019) Family: $7,100 ($100 increase from 2019) Over 55 catch-up $1000 (remains the same) 2020 HDHP minimum annual deductibles Individual: $1,400 ($50 increase from 2019) Family: $2,800 ($100 increase from 2019) 2020 HDHP maximum out-of-pocket amounts Individual: $6,900 ($150 increase from 2019) Family: $13,800 ($300 increase from 2019) Contact Form Name* First Last Email* PhoneWhat would you like to learn more...

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Potential Anesthesia Side Effects Linked with Marijuana Use

Posted by on Aug 6, 2019 in Benefits Update, News |

Did you know that anesthesiologists routinely ask about marijuana use? Here’s why: Although the research thus far has been minimal, recent studies in Colorado indicate that marijuana use could result in a need for additional anesthesia which can have side effects such as low blood pressure and depressed heart function. Though everyone can have differing reactions to anesthesia, it’s important to be honest with all medical professionals about the use of marijuana for health & safety purposes. See this article for more details: Read...

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Should GAP Be Sold on RVs and Travel Trailers?

Posted by on Jun 25, 2019 in News |

Article by our partners at Frost Financial Services | Do you ever finance RVs or travel trailers? If so, make sure to stress the importance of GAP protection on these loans. While you may not see many accidents involving RVs or travel trailers, many of them experience total losses each year. Accidents are certainly not as frequent, but plenty are so severely damaged due to flood, vandalism, fallen trees, and fire that they are unrepairable and deemed total losses by primary insurers. Adding to the GAP risk on RVs and travel trailers is the challenge of accurately valuing the collateral at the time of financing. You can utilize a guide book or even refer to a dealer invoice, but validating model and options can oftentimes lead to many more challenges and errors in valuing RVs and travel trailers than we see in the much more standardized world of autos. These errors can create significant overvaluation of collateral and unexpected exposure to loss. And, if you think automobiles and trucks are depreciating rapidly these days, these are luxury items and can see even more wild swings in values from year to year as market conditions change. Lastly, the loans for these collateral types tend to be longer terms. This means that the loan balances will amortize down more slowly and only add to the potential of a large GAP loss even when the loan was financed well under 100% of the value at loan origination. A recent claim highlights how a number of the above factors can come together and result in a significant GAP claim. In May 2015 the lender financed $92,485 on a 42′ Jayco RV that had an assumed value of $83,710. Three years later a fire caused a total loss of the RV and the settlement provided by the primary insurer was $53,445. This left an outstanding loan balance of $30,595. Fortunately, this loan had GAP protection and the $30,595 loan balance was paid in...

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Introducing our New Employee Benefits Specialist

Posted by on Jun 18, 2019 in Benefits Update, News |

Insurance Trust is pleased to introduce Pam Huntington as our new Employee Benefits Specialist. Pam comes to our team with more than fifteen years of experience in the health insurance and voluntary benefits field.  She has previously worked as an Account Manager at both the health insurance carrier and broker levels.  Pam also worked in multiple roles at a local Maine credit union for five years.  Pam was born and raised in Portland where she attended Deering High School.  She then attended Southern Maine Community College where she earned an Associate Degree in Automated Office Management.  Pam enjoys spending time with her husband, children and black lab, Bo, as well as motorcycle rides and time at the lake. “I am excited to be part of the credit union movement and look forward to the opportunity to assist our credit union and small business partners with all of their employee benefits needs.  I like that I can use the skills I have learned from my previous experiences to help educate employees on how to best understand what they have for benefits at a level that is comfortable for them.  I am excited for this journey.”   As Employee Benefits Specialist, Pam’s focus will be to communicate with our insurance carriers, credit unions and small business clients to provide education and service for all group employee benefits programs.  Pam will conduct renewal meetings for our clients and continually work to present new and alternative options for our current and potential clients. Pam can be reached at 207-773-0925 ext. 314...

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17th Annual Golf Tournament for Special Olympics Maine

Posted by on May 21, 2019 in News |

Dear valued clients and partners of Insurance Trust, We invite you to join Insurance Trust for the 17th Annual Golf Tournament to support Special Olympics Maine on Thursday, July 18, 2019, at Falmouth Country Club in Falmouth, ME. Registration is now open! Be sure to mark your calendars, register your golf teams early (as space is limited) and sign up to become a Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze tournament sponsor. Please come out, enjoy a fun day of golf and help support Special Olympics Maine Athletes and their families! Location: Falmouth Country Club Golf Course 1 Congressional Drive Falmouth, ME 04105 Time: Registration from 7:45 AM to 8:45 AM Continental Breakfast included Sponsored by: Equinox Insurance  Shot Gun Start at 9:00 AM (Scramble format) Fees: $140.00 per Golfer (This fee includes: greens fees, golf cart, continental breakfast, bag lunch, post-golf reception and four mulligans per team, maximum of 144 golfers.) To register, contact Barbara Christy at...

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