Fidelity Investments Life Insurance Company v. Rinehart et al. involves the payout of life insurance policies where the policyholder makes a beneficiary change request. In addition to this case, the mother of the couple’s sons had brought a companion wrongful death action against their father’s estate. A wrongful death case occurs when someone is killed because of someone else’s negligence or misconduct. In this case, the court and jury will handle the issues relating to not only a wrongful death case but also a divorce case and insurance payout decision.
Relevant Background, Impact, and Details of Insurance Payout and Wrongful Death Case
Background: In early 2021, Paul Reinhart (Mr. Reinhart) and Minde Reinhart (Mrs. Reinhart) were separated, waiting to finalize the divorce process. The couple had two sons from the marriage, aged 14 and 11. During the divorce process, Mr. Reinhart began making changes to his assets to prevent his soon-to-be ex-wife from receiving any assets in the divorce. The couple owned several properties, including their primary residence and a vacation home. In addition to the houses, Mr. Reinhart purchased two life insurance policies, one in 2005 and the other in 2015. Each policy had a $2 million payout if Mr. Reinhart died and had not done so by suicide within two years of buying the policies.
On April 19th, Mr. Reinhart revised his will, which he allegedly did to prevent his then-estranged wife from receiving any assets in the impending divorce. On April 26th, Mr. Reinhart contacted his life insurance company, Fidelity, to request changes to his life insurance policies. He wanted to establish his two sons as the policies’ primary beneficiaries and his brother, Konrad Reinhart, as a secondary beneficiary. Although Mr. Reinhart sent a notarized change document to Fidelity, the company did not grant the changes. On April 30th, Fidelity responded to the request letter, rejecting the requested changes because the document did not specify the city where Mr. Reinhart signed the document. Several days later, on May 4th, Mr. Reinhardt shot and killed his two sons before setting fire to the family’s vacation home and fatally shooting himself.
Fidelity Investments Life Insurance Co. vs. Reinhart Et. Al.
Throughout their separation, Mr. and Mrs. Reinhart had disputes over money and assets behind the scenes. On May 14th, Mrs. Rinehart requested Fidelity pay her the $4 million from the previous life insurance policies, which Fidelity paid. A month and a half later, Mr. Reinhart’s brother, Konrad, asked about the insurance payments because he was the only surviving beneficiary on his brother’s life insurance policies. After a brief legal battle, Mrs. Rinehart and Mr. Reinhart’s brother agreed that the life insurance payouts should remain in a Fidelity law firm bank account until a judge decides who receives that money.
The Companion Wrongful Death Case
In addition to the dispute regarding the life insurance funds, Mrs. Rinehart has also brought a claim against Mr. Reinhart’s estate for $10 million for the wrongful death of their sons by Mr. Reinhart’s actions. Since the beginning of that action, there have been further disputes between Mrs. Rinehart and her husband’s family over Mr. Reinhart’s estate. Konrad Reinhart has requested that the court divide the estate equally amongst Mr. Reinhart’s five siblings and Mrs. Rinehart.
Two Cases, One Twisted Set of Facts
Reading the news stories makes it difficult to understand what happened in the Reinhardt case. The format of these cases is especially challenging because while there is only one set of facts, there are two cases to which these facts apply. In one case, Mrs. Rinehart attempts to receive the proceeds from her husband's life insurance policies. Who is entitled to the payout is difficult to determine without court intervention because it is clear that Mr. Reinhart intended to change the policies even if they were not changed in time. Mr. Reinhart’s intent makes the question of who is entitled to the insurance funds more complicated, whether it is his brother or his former spouse. Concerning the wrongful death case, more is happening behind the scenes than has been reported. While most of the events leading up to these cases occurred earlier this year, the cases are relatively new in the court system. Mrs. Rinehart has brought up the issue of wrongful death in the other proceeding. The facts involved in these cases are both twisted and tragic, and we will no doubt learn more as the case proceeds.
Hiring A Wrongful Death Attorney in Florida
On top of being heartbreaking for the families or the people bringing the claims, wrongful death suits are complicated to navigate. When bringing a wrongful death action in court, it is important to have an experienced wrongful death attorney on your side. An experienced wrongful death attorney will help you navigate the legal process and avoid the pitfalls in these complicated cases. The attorneys at The Watson Firm, PLLC are here to help you protect your interests and the interests of your loved ones. To learn more or set up a case consultation, call us at (850) 607-2929 or contact us online.