Insurance Annuities

Dear Len & Rosie,

I was nineteen years old in 1940 when we married. After more than 64 years of marriage I woke up one morning and my husband was gone. He had died peacefully, they said, in his sleep. It is still hard trying to go on without him. But an insurance company has made my life a living hell. Seven years ago we bought an annuity with $80,000 of our savings hoping for a better return than our bank accounts. But when I notified the insurance company of my husband's passing they said I no longer have any rights under our contract. They said IRC section 72(s) mandates that the beneficiaries we had named are now the owners of the annuity. The IRS representatives say they have nothing to do with this kind of annuity. I appealed to the California Insurance Commissioner. They said that the insurance company properly responded to my complaint and that the commission would do nothing further. I need to get my $80,000 plus interest back as was our intent to do before my husband passed away. Can you help me?