Robbie Hargett Oct. 21, 2015, 12:42pm


The children of a deceased woman are suing the woman's widower and his children, alleging he acted wrongfully when altering beneficiaries on the woman's life insurance account.

Thomas Michael Alleman, Timothy Grant Alleman and Judy Carolyn Whitham filed a lawsuit Oct. 12 in Jefferson County District Court against Albert Culver of Nederland, Brenda J. Culver, Emily Beaird and Katy F. Wallace, alleging tortious interference with inheritance rights, breach of fiduciary duty, and unjust enrichment.

The deceased, Carolyn Culver, married Albert Culver on May 4, 1985. The plaintiffs are Carolyn Culver's biological children, and the remaining defendants are Albert Culver's biological children.

According to the complaint, Carolyn Culver had an account with ING Life Insurance and Annuity Company, and at some point during her marriage, she executed a power of attorney in favor of Albert Culver. Carolyn Culver died March 31, 2013, and Albert Culver was appointed independent executor Sept. 6, 2013.

After Carolyn Culver's death, the suit says, Albert Culver changed the beneficiary designation on her ING account to make himself a beneficiary, a breach of his fiduciary duty to the decedent. The lawsuit alleges Albert Culver also made his children beneficiaries and took the plaintiffs off the ING account as beneficiaries, despite Carolyn Culver's will dictating that these funds would go to the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs seek a judgment declaring assets in the ING account are payable to the plaintiffs and declaring void the designations of the defendants as beneficiaries, a constructive trust placed on all estate property and non-probate funds received by Albert Culvert as a result of his tortious conduct, actual damages, court costs and attorney fees. They are represented by attorney Wyatt D. Snider of Snider Law Firm in Beaumont.

Jefferson County District Court case number D-197702.

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