Insurance companies, annuity companies, and other financial services businesses often manage accounts whose owner has named one or more beneficiaries who are to receive some or all of the funds in the account when its owner passes.  While the vast majority of beneficiary transfers occur without dispute, the transfers that are disputed have the potential to put the account holder in a difficult position: it is facing multiple claims for the funds, without enough money to pay each claimant what he or she wants, and without any clear preference among these claimants.

In this situation, account holders use the process known as equitable interpleader to ask the courts for distributing the funds in disputed accounts to its rightful owners.   The process is in theory straightforward, but a number of factors – confusing rules of civil procedure; lack of familiarity with the underlying law; issues such as whether to interest on the funds and how to handle claim forms – can make the process a difficult or even treacherous one for the uninitiated.  Attorneys Henry Sneath and Jason Spak at the Pittsburgh law firm of Houston Harbaugh have handled numerous interpleader actions in Pennsylvania – ranging from disputes between two relatives to claims by over 1,000 people – and have established a system for doing so in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible under the prevailing circumstances.

For more information, call 412-288-4000 or send our PSMN ® Pittsburgh financial services attorneys an e-mail by completing the contact form on this website.