Father Passed Away and Had Transamerica Financial Freedom Builder with Mother As Rider, what to do?

Sorry in advance for the long post. My father passed away about a month ago. He had a Transamerica financial freedom builder policy worth $100,000. We are going to file a claim for this amount as the funeral was very expensive and we will need it to cover the expenses and support my mother.

My mother was a ‘rider’ on this policy and would like to continue coverage. They gave us a conversion application, but I’m a bit confused about the verbiage. It says that the current policy will be canceled or reduced and the new policy may be considered a replacement. My mother will be subject to the full surrender charge. Under the new policy, if she selects a cash settlement it will be subject to any surrender charges under my current policy.

The agent told us not to submit the claim until we converted the policy. I am now worried that if we convert it, we won’t be able to submit the claim for the $100,000. There’s a lot of conflicting information about what life insurance riders are and very little information about conversion. Does anyone here have any insight on what this policy conversion would entail, if we would still be able to submit a claim, and what a policy rider exactly is?

Additional info – My father has had this policy for 24 years, paying $140 into it every month. My mother has diabetes and is reticent to take any medical exams for a new policy, hence her wanting to just convert this one.

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