Spouse indicted for man's murder, now court must choose insurance beneficiary

By Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau | Mar 3, 2010

SHERMAN - With half the proceeds already paid, Hartford Insurance Co. is asking a federal court to decide who should get the remainder of death benefits after it was revealed the beneficiary is currently charged with the insured's murder.

Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Co. and McAfee Inc. Group Benefit Plan filed suit against the estate of Craig William Nail, William Nail, Vera Guthrie-Nail, Tiffany Woodson Butler Wheeler, Catherine Woodson and a minor child on Feb. 25, in the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman division.

According to the lawsuit, the insurance company and employee benefits plan paid half of the death benefits to the deceased's father. However, the remainder of the proceeds was designated to Craig Williams Nails' wife, who is currently under indictment on capital murder charges for the death of her husband.

Under state and federal law, a life insurance beneficiary who is responsible for the death of the insured is not entitled to receive the insurance proceeds.

The insurance company states that the deceased's father has requested the funds but, because of the competing claims, the plaintiff wants the court to decide where the money should go.

Under the terms of the insurance policy, the funds may be paid to the estate of the insured or to the spouse, children or parent.

The plaintiff's have filed a motion to place the insurance policy proceeds into a deposit fund with the court so they are released of all liability.

Dallas attorney Iwana Rademaekers of Jackson Lewis, LLP is representing the insurance company.

U.S. District Judge Richard A. Schell will preside over the litigation.

Case No 4:10cv00079

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