Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Insurance Policies:New legal battle over Powell insurance policies

Nine days when Josh Powell killed himself and his 2 sons in an exceedingly horrific fireplace at his rented home in Washington state, 2 of his siblings filed claims on insurance policies value $1.5 million — a move that has currently led the insurer to raise a U.S. District Court to mapped out who, if anyone, is entitled to the money.

An attorney for brand spanking new York Life Insurance Co. conjointly needs the Western Washington court to come to a decision what ought to happen with a $1 million policy for Susan Powell, Josh Powell’s missing wife. The attorney conjointly needs to grasp whether or not changes Powell created to his policy in late 2011 — naming his siblings and father as beneficiaries instead of a trust overseen partially by his father-in-law — are valid.

Given the amount and timing of changes that occurred shortly before Powell distributed the murder/suicide, "New York Life conjointly has issues concerning Joshua Powell’s competency at the time the beneficiary changes were created," the court filing states. It conjointly says "doubtful questions" exist concerning payments being created to a "slayer’s siblings and/or father."

Steve Downing, one amongst 2 attorneys representing Susan’s folks, said Chuck and Judy Cox attempt to file their own probate action in state court and can support the insurer’s request for a section Court review.

"Clearly, underneath any law, he didn’t have the correct to alter the beneficiaries," Downing said.

West Valley town Police have said on double they were unaware of any insurance policy in Susan’s name. In February, when asked a couple of $1 million policy in Susan’s name, West Valley town Police Chief Thayle "Buzz" Nielsen said, "I don’t understand that, I hadn’t heard that." The department’s spokesman said identical issue in January 2009 because it began investigating what happened to Susan.

Downing said Chuck Cox spoke with police regarding the policies shortly when his daughter disappeared. "And if they didn’t realize it, that's one amongst the primary stuff you raise regarding, particularly when a spouse goes missing," he said.

West Valley Police spokesman Sgt. Mike Powell declined to debate whether or not investigators evaluated the policies as a doable motive for Susan’s disappearance. Powell said solely that his department wouldn't "address any queries or problems in regard to that individual civil matter and leave that to the courts and respective attorneys to inquire into."

According to court documents, Powell and his wife took out insurance policies within the summer of 2007, somewhat over 2 years before Susan disappeared from their West Valley town home. Powell had a five-year term life insurance policy value $1 million; he conjointly had riders value $250,000 on every of their sons. Susan had a $500,000 five-year term policy and a $500,000 rider.

Susan initially was listed at the only beneficiary of her husband’s policy. The couple were equal beneficiaries of the policies for his or her sons, Charlie and Braden.

In February 2009, Powell added a newly established family trust came upon within the couple’s names because the secondary beneficiary of his policy. underneath provisions of the family trust, Powell’s brother Michael and Susan’s father were listed as joint trustees of the estate within the event the couple declined or were unable to administer it.

Powell continued creating monthly premium payments on the policies when moving to Washington, per the court filing.

Powell altered his policy once more on Oct. 3, 2011, removing Susan because the primary beneficiary — a modification that came seven business days when his father Steve Powell’s arrest for voyeurism and possession of kid pornography and 3 days when a Washington decide briefly placed Charlie and Braden with the Coxes. He conjointly dropped the family trust as a beneficiary.

Instead, Powell named his brother Michael and sister Alina as his primary beneficiaries and his brother John because the secondary beneficiary. He conjointly listed himself, his brother Michael and his sister Alina as primary beneficiaries on his sons’ policies.

Two months later, Powell created one more modification to his policy. He divided the policy’s proceeds between his 3 siblings, with a ninety three % share to his brother Michael, four % to his sister Alina and three % to his brother John. within the event his brother Michael wasn't living, Powell designated that the proceeds be split equally between his sister and his father, who conjointly was named because the sole secondary beneficiary of the policy. At identical time, Powell listed himself because the beneficiary of his sons’ policies, along with his brother Michael the secondary beneficiary.

Michael Powell and Alina Powell each contacted ny Life Insurance on Feb. fourteen to request forms to create claims on their brother’s and nephews’ life insurance policies.
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