Susan Powell's parents win estate fight

By Danielle Haynes  |  Updated Sept. 4, 2014 at 7:12 PM
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SALT LAKE CITY, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Susan Cox Powell's father may retain conservatorship over her estate despite a challenge by her husband Josh Powell's family, a Utah judge ruled Wednesday.

Police considered Josh Powell a person of interest in the December 2009 disappearance of his wife, Susan. He killed himself and his two sons, ages 5 and 7, in a February 2012 fire at a house in Graham, Wash.

Josh Powell's mother and sister, Terrica and Alina Powell, contested a Jan. 30, 2013, ruling by then-3rd District Judge Katherine Bernards-Goodman, who said Chuck Cox could act as conservator of Susan and Josh Powell's estate.

The Powells had 30 days to contest Bernards-Goodman's decision, but filed a challenge Sept. 13, 2013.

Current 3rd District Court Judge L.A. Dever said Terrica and Alina Powell waited too long to file a challenge and said conservatorship should remain with Cox. Dever, though, said he found it problematic how Susan Cox Powell's parents came to be in control of the estate in the first place.

The Coxes were required to provide documentation from two doctors saying their daughter was incapacitated before a trustee could be named — something that never happened.

The estate in question includes $2.3 million in life insurance awards and the couple's house in West Valley City.

The Powells are expected to appeal Wednesday's ruling. Meanwhile, Susan Cox Powell is expected to be declared dead in December, five years after she was last seen.

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