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Powell siblings make life insurance claims

March 7, 2012 at 3:23 PM

TACOMA, Wash., March 7 (UPI) -- A U.S. court has been asked to decide what should happen to $2.5 million in life insurance on missing Utah woman Susan Powell and her husband.

Joshua Powell killed himself and his two young sons in late February in an explosive fire at a house he had rented in Washington state. Two of Powell's siblings, a brother and sister, who were named as his beneficiaries, have filed claims, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Susan and Joshua Powell, then living in West Valley, Utah, arranged for the insurance policies in 2007. The coverage included $1 million term life on Powell, $250,000 riders on each of their sons, and a $500,000 rider on Susan on top of the same amount in term life insurance.

In 2011, two years after Susan disappeared, Powell changed the beneficiaries on his policy, naming his siblings as primary beneficiaries both on his policies and his son's insurance.

New York Life Insurance has asked a federal court in Washington to determine if Powell could legally make the changes he did and whether he is legally the killer of his sons.

In Susan Powell's case, she has not been declared dead, although West Valley police say they believe she was a homicide victim. Her husband was named as a person of interest.

A lawyer for Susan Powell's parents said they support the court review.

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