Josh Powell's family sues for share of $2 million trust, arguing Susan Powell already dead

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SALT LAKE CITY — Josh Powell's family is asking another judge for a share in about $2 million in life-insurance proceeds, arguing changes shutting them out of the estate last year were invalid because his missing wife was probably already dead.

The lawsuit comes after a decision last month finding Susan Powell's father acted within his bounds when he cut out Josh Powell's mother and sister. That ruling is being appealed to the Utah Supreme Court.

Friday's lawsuit asks a state judge to declare that Susan Powell was already dead in May 2013, so Charles Cox wasn't allowed to change the terms of the trust originally designed to be split between the two families. She went missing in 2009, but her body has never been found.

A lawyer for Terrica and Alina Powell says they have also suffered in recent years. "They've lost loved ones as well," attorney Joshua Lee said.

About $2 million in life insurance money is expected to flow into a trust when Susan Powell is presumed legally dead in December, five years after her disappearance. Josh Powell was being investigated as a suspect in his wife's disappearance when he moved to Washington state, where he killed himself and the couple's boys in 2012.

Evan Bariault, an attorney for the Cox family, said he hasn't yet been served with the lawsuit, but the issues may have already been decided. A Utah judge ruled last month the Powells waited too long to object to being cut out of the trust.

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