Josh Powell, who last month took the lives of his two young children and himself in a house fire, is back in the headlines. This time, it's over whether Powell's relatives are entitled to his $1.5 million life insurance policy. Who, if anyone, gets the money?
Just nine days after Powell and his children's deaths, his two siblings, sister Alina and brother Michael, contacted New York Life about how to claim the policy. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Josh Powell had a one million dollar policy for himself and $250,000 for each of his sons.
The life insurance policy company is now turning to the courts to see who should receive the money, along with the still missing Susan Powell's one million dollar claim.
Josh and Susan Powell first took out the one million dollar policies on each other as well as the $250,000 on each of their sons back in 2007. Originally being each other's beneficiaries, the couple later designated both their fathers as the beneficiaries of the family trust. A couple years after Susan Powell's disappearance, Josh Powell changed the beneficiary, giving his brother Michael a 93 percent pay out, his sister Alina a four percent payout and a third sibling a three percent pay out. According to ABC, Stephen, Josh Powell's father, was the second beneficiary. The news site says that final beneficiary changes were made less than two months before he killed himself and his children.
New York Life is currently seeking advice from the court on who, if anyone, is eligible for the payout. The company is unsure if the changes that Powell made to the policy before his death are valid. According to Steve Downing, the attorney for Susan Powell's parents, Chuck and Judy Cox, Clearly, under any law, [Josh] didn't have the right to change the beneficiaries.
Another dent in the Powell relative collection plan is that the courts have to decide if Josh Powell's murder-suicide and status as a slayer and person of interest gives them a rightful claim.
Amanda Remling studied journalism at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ.
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