We can always keep chatting via this page. Phone calls are optional. However, I don't have the ability to call Panama, so this works out better.
A verbal agreement to transfer an interest in real estate, I'm sorry to say, is not legally binding. In order to preserve your interest in the property (and stop your son from selling it if things go horribly wrong), you need something in writing that says you have a life estate in the property and he only gets it when you pass away. That also protects you if he should happen to predecease you. The contract doesn't have to be registered, but getting a new deed that gives you a life tenancy and filing it with the city gives you added protection.
As far as the insurance claim goes, you would need something in writing from your son documenting the agreement, and evidence showing what each of you did in reliance upon that agreement. An insurable interest is something they should have considered before issuing the policy - they didn't have any problem taking your 18 years of premiums. If necessary, you can sue them to get the claim covered. You and your son would both have to testify.
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