A-19170, JULY 19, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 50

A-19170: Jul 19, 1927

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WERE PAID BY THE FATHER. PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNTS AUTHORIZED AS BURIAL EXPENSES IS TO BE MADE TO THE PERSON OR FIRM FURNISHING THE SERVICE AUTHORIZED OR. IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT WHERE THE RELATIVE DIES AFTER FILING CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES THE AMOUNT PROPERLY FOUND DUE UNDER THE STATUTE IS PAYABLE TO THE ESTATE OF SUCH PERSON. IT MUST BE ASSUMED THAT THERE WAS NO INTENTION TO ASSERT A CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THE STATUTE. THE PAYMENT OF CLAIMS OF ANY OTHER PERSONS AS SURVIVORS OR REPRESENTATIVES OF PERSON AUTHORIZED TO CLAIM THE ALLOWANCE IS NOT AUTHORIZED. UPON REVIEW THE SETTLEMENT MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED.

A-19170, JULY 19, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 50

BURIAL EXPENSES - VETERAN OF THE WORLD WAR A CLAIM FOR THE BURIAL EXPENSE OF A SON, A VETERAN OF THE WORLD WAR, NOT PRESENTED BY THE FATHER WHO PAID THE SAME DOES NOT SURVIVE TO THE FATHER'S ESTATE AND MAY NOT BE PAID TO THE MOTHER AS THE PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE FATHER.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, JULY 19, 1927:

REVIEW HAS BEEN REQUESTED OF SETTLEMENT OF JULY 23, 1926, DISALLOWING CLAIM NO. 0146078, FILED BY AMELIA LIESTMAN FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE BURIAL EXPENSES OF ARTHUR J. LIESTMAN, DECEASED WAR VETERAN.

THE CLAIMANT SUBMITS EVIDENCE THAT THE BURIAL EXPENSES OF THE DECEASED VETERAN, WHO DIED DECEMBER 11, 1919, WERE PAID BY THE FATHER, JOHN LIESTMAN; THAT THE FATHER DIED JULY 15, 1924, NEARLY FIVE YEARS LATER, WITHOUT HAVING FILED ANY CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE SON'S BURIAL EXPENSES; AND THAT THE MOTHER, THE PRESENT CLAIMANT, PAID THE BURIAL EXPENSES OF THE FATHER.

SECTION 201 (1) OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT, DATED JUNE 7, 1924, 43 STAT. 617, AS AMENDED BY THE ACTS OF MARCH 4, 1925, 43 STAT. 1305, AND JULY 2, 1926, 44 STAT. 794, PROVIDES FOR THE PAYMENT OF BURIAL EXPENSES OF A VETERAN OF ANY WAR WHO DIES AFTER DISCHARGE OR RESIGNATION FROM THE SERVICE WITHOUT LEAVING ASSETS WHICH, IN THE JUDGMENT OF THE DIRECTOR, SHOULD BE APPLIED TO MEET THE EXPENSES OF THE BURIAL; SUCH EXPENSES, SUBJECT TO THE LIMITATION THEREIN FIXED, SHALL BE PAID ,TO SUCH PERSON OR PERSONS AS MAY BE FIXED BY REGULATIONS.'

BY SECTION 8111 OF THE REGULATIONS OF THE VETERANS' BUREAU, PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNTS AUTHORIZED AS BURIAL EXPENSES IS TO BE MADE TO THE PERSON OR FIRM FURNISHING THE SERVICE AUTHORIZED OR, IF SUCH PERSON OR FIRM FURNISHING THE SERVICE DEMANDS AND RECEIVES PAYMENT FROM A REPRESENTATIVE OR RELATIVE OF THE DECEASED, REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE MADE TO SUCH REPRESENTATIVE OR RELATIVE.

NEITHER SECTION 201 (1) OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT, AS AMENDED, NOR THE REGULATIONS ISSUED IN PURSUANCE THEREOF, MAKE ANY PROVISION FOR PAYMENTS TO THE ESTATE OF A PERSON WHO PAID THE FUNERAL EXPENSES OF A VETERAN WHEN SUCH PERSON DIES WITHOUT ASSERTING ANY CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT.

IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT WHERE THE RELATIVE DIES AFTER FILING CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES THE AMOUNT PROPERLY FOUND DUE UNDER THE STATUTE IS PAYABLE TO THE ESTATE OF SUCH PERSON, EITHER TO THE AUTHORIZED ADMINISTRATOR OR EXECUTOR, OR DIRECTLY TO THE DISTRIBUTEES. SEE DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1926, A-15490, IN THE CASE OF HERMAN B. TODD, AND DECISION OF DECEMBER 6, 1926, A-16361, IN THE CASE OF JOHN HENRY MENSING. BUT WHERE THE RELATIVE OR OTHER PERSON WHO PAID THE FUNERAL EXPENSES OF THE VETERAN DIES WITHOUT HAVING ASSERTED A CLAIM AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT, IT MUST BE ASSUMED THAT THERE WAS NO INTENTION TO ASSERT A CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THE STATUTE, AND SINCE THE REGULATIONS MADE PURSUANT TO AND NOT IN CONFLICT WITH THE LAW RECOGNIZE ONLY CERTAIN CLASSES OF PERSONS AS AUTHORIZED TO PRESENT CLAIMS FOR PAYMENT, THE PAYMENT OF CLAIMS OF ANY OTHER PERSONS AS SURVIVORS OR REPRESENTATIVES OF PERSON AUTHORIZED TO CLAIM THE ALLOWANCE IS NOT AUTHORIZED. A-16587, DECEMBER 18, 1926; A 18599, JUNE 20, 1927.

IN THE PRESENT CASE THE FATHER OF THE VETERAN PAID THE FUNERAL EXPENSES AND DIED WITHOUT HAVING ASSERTED A CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THE STATUTE. AS THE MOTHER, THE PRESENT CLAIMANT, DID NOT PAY THE SON'S FUNERAL EXPENSES, SHE DOES NOT COME WITHIN SECTION 8111 OF THE VETERANS' BUREAU REGULATIONS DESIGNATING THE PERSONS TO WHOM SUCH EXPENSES MAY BE PAID. NO CLAIM HAVING BEEN SUBMITTED BY THE FATHER DURING HIS LIFETIME, IT DID NOT SURVIVE AS AN ASSET OF THE FATHER'S ESTATE AND THE MOTHER CAN NOT, THEREFORE, ASSERT A CLAIM AS THE PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE OR DISTRIBUTEE OF HER HUSBAND'S ESTATE. UPON REVIEW THE SETTLEMENT MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED.