In anticipation of what could turn into a legal minefield, New York Life asked a judge to decide who, if anyone, is entitled to collect on a $1.5 million policy after Josh Powell killed himself and his two sons in a Washington house fire last month. “The pending and potential claims are such that New York Life cannot determine without hazard to itself which of them, if any, is legally entitled to the policy proceeds without assuming the responsibility of determining doubtful questions of law and fact,” the company’s attorneys wrote in a complaint filed last Friday. In the months before his death, Josh Powell changed the beneficiaries to his siblings and father rather than his wife, Susan Powell, who disappeared in December 2009. Because of his suicide, it is unclear whether Josh Powell was legally competent to make those changes. The company sent claim forms, but Josh Powell’s siblings have not actually filed them.

Read the story.