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Continuing States of the Estate

Yet another example for "why nothing is easy" when settling someone's estate...

We knew my mother had a trust (set up by my father before his death), a pension, an annuity through AIG, savings bonds, bank accounts, etc.. Enough different sorts of accounts that it wasn't totally surprising to get forms from Western National Life Insurance that seemed to speak of something else. My sister had dealt with the mail and accounts the last couple of years and didn't recognize them, but my mother had memory lapses and maybe she'd bought something from them before that, that had sounded reasonable to her, and never told anyone. The forms were very legal and had to be notarized before return, and though each of us called separately, they wouldn't tell us anything about the account until all the forms were in.

After my attempt, I looked them up online. Lots of pages. Lots about their types of annuities and retirement funds. Lots about how secure and respected they are. Finally, under "company milestones", a clue:
2009 • Back to our roots - Name changed back to Western National Life Insurance Company
And farther down:
2002 • Name changed to AIG Annuity Insurance Company
2001 • Acquired by American International Group, Inc. (AIG)

Okay, THAT annuity. (I'd heard somewhere that AIG employees are now given badges that don't say "AIG" so that people won't treat them badly when it's used for identification.)