A-21379, FEBRUARY 15, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 478

A-21379: Feb 15, 1928

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OR CREDITORS ARE KNOWN TO EXIST. THE MONEY WILL REMAIN IN THE TREASURY. THERE ARE DUE THE ESTATE OF A DECEASED EMPLOYEE OF THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT PROCEEDS OF THE EFFECTS LEFT BY HIM AT TIME OF DEATH. IS PROPERLY FOR DISPOSITION BY PLACING THE SAME TO THE CREDIT OF A SPECIAL FUND IN THE TREASURY ESTABLISHED FOR THE PURPOSE UNDER THE TITLE "EFFECTS OF DECEASED EMPLOYEES. 1928: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 10. THAT IF THERE IS NO WIDOW OR KINDRED OF THE INTESTATE. THE UNNEGOTIATED CHECK FOR $104 AND THE $11.11 WERE DEPOSITED AND COVERED INTO THE TREASURY TO THE CREDIT OF THE RECLAMATION FUND. THE AMOUNT DUE FROM THE UNITED STATES TO THE ESTATE WILL NOT BE PAID EVEN THOUGH A CLAIM THEREFOR BE FILED BY AN ADMINISTRATOR. 20 COMP.

A-21379, FEBRUARY 15, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 478

ACCOUNTING - SPECIAL FUNDS - AMOUNTS DUE DECEASED EMPLOYEES MONEY DUE FROM THE UNITED STATES TO A DECEASED EMPLOYEE MAY NOT BE PAID TO THE TAX COMMISSIONER OF A STATE TO ESCHEAT TO THE STATE. WHERE NO HEIRS, NEXT OF KIN, OR CREDITORS ARE KNOWN TO EXIST, THE MONEY WILL REMAIN IN THE TREASURY. WHERE IN ADDITION TO SALARY, THERE ARE DUE THE ESTATE OF A DECEASED EMPLOYEE OF THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT PROCEEDS OF THE EFFECTS LEFT BY HIM AT TIME OF DEATH, THE BALANCE DUE THE ESTATE, WHETHER FOR SALARY OR OTHERWISE, AFTER PAYING FUNERAL EXPENSES, ETC., IS PROPERLY FOR DISPOSITION BY PLACING THE SAME TO THE CREDIT OF A SPECIAL FUND IN THE TREASURY ESTABLISHED FOR THE PURPOSE UNDER THE TITLE "EFFECTS OF DECEASED EMPLOYEES, INTERIOR DEPARTMENT.'

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, FEBRUARY 15, 1928:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 10, 1928, RELATIVE TO THE DISPOSITION OF $131.11 BELONGING TO THE ESTATE OF JOHN LARSON, DECEASED, A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, WHO DIED JULY 7, 1926, AT CLE ELUM, WASH., CONCERNING WHICH YOU RECOMMENDED THAT THERE BE PAID FROM SUCH FUNDS TO THE UNDERTAKER WHO FURNISHED THE BURIAL SERVICE A BALANCE DUE OF $45, AND THAT THE BALANCE OF $86.11 BE REMITTED TO THE STATE BOARD OF TAX COMMISSIONERS AT OLYMPIA, WASH., FOR DISPOSITION AS REQUIRED BY STATE LAWS, WHICH, YOU STATE, PROVIDE, AS TO DISPOSITION OF ESTATES, THAT IF THERE IS NO WIDOW OR KINDRED OF THE INTESTATE, THE RESIDUE OF THE PERSONAL ESTATE, AFTER PAYMENT OF THE DEBTS AND FUNERAL EXPENSES, SHALL ESCHEAT TO THE STATE.

THE FUNDS REPORTED AS BELONGING TO THE ESTATE CONSIST OF $11.11 CURRENCY, AN UNNEGOTIATED CHECK FOR $104, DRAWN ON THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES, REPRESENTING SERVICE COMPENSATION FOR JUNE, 1926, AND A BALANCE OF $16 COMPENSATION DUE FOR SERVICES RENDERED FROM JULY 1 TO 4, INCLUSIVE, 1926.

THE UNNEGOTIATED CHECK FOR $104 AND THE $11.11 WERE DEPOSITED AND COVERED INTO THE TREASURY TO THE CREDIT OF THE RECLAMATION FUND, AND BY SETTLEMENT NO. 0161446, DATED AUGUST 20, 1927, THIS OFFICE ALLOWED AND PAID THE BALANCE DUE ON ACCOUNT OF FUNERAL EXPENSES IN THE SUM OF $45, CHARGEABLE TO THE RECLAMATION FUND, LEAVING A BALANCE OF $86.11 IN SAID FUND AS THE UNPAID COMPENSATION FOR SERVICES RENDERED BY THE EMPLOYEE TO DATE OF HIS DEATH.

NO CLAIM FOR THIS BALANCE HAS BEEN FILED ON BEHALF OF THE ESTATE OR THE STATE OF WASHINGTON, AND IN THIS CONNECTION IT MAY BE STATED THAT THE RULE HAS LONG OBTAINED IN THE ACCOUNTING OFFICES THAT WHERE A CREDITOR OF THE UNITED STATES DIES INTESTATE, LEAVING NEITHER CREDITORS NOR HEIRS OR RELATIVES ENTITLED, UNDER THE LAWS OF THE LAST DOMICILE OF THE DECEDENT, TO SHARE IN THE DISTRIBUTION OF HIS ESTATE, THE AMOUNT DUE FROM THE UNITED STATES TO THE ESTATE WILL NOT BE PAID EVEN THOUGH A CLAIM THEREFOR BE FILED BY AN ADMINISTRATOR. 20 COMP. DEC. 740; 23 ID. 95. SEE, ALSO, DECISION OF MAY 31, 1901, IN WHICH THE FOLLOWING RULE WAS QUOTED WITH APPROVAL:

* * * MONEY DUE FROM THE UNITED STATES CAN NOT BE PAID TO AN ADMINISTRATOR WHO HAS NO INTEREST IN THE ESTATE OF THE DECEASED, EITHER AS HEIR OR CREDITOR. IF NO HEIRS OR CREDITORS APPLY, THE MONEY WILL REMAIN IN THE TREASURY.

THERE IS NOTED IN YOUR LETTER THE STATEMENT THAT IN ANY EVENT THE PROCEEDS OF CHECK FOR $104 AND THE AMOUNT OF $11.11 CURRENCY ARE NOT PROPER CREDITS TO THE RECLAMATION FUND. IN ORDINARY CASES WHERE THERE IS DUE A DECEASED EMPLOYEE A BALANCE ON ACCOUNT OF SALARY UNDER ANY APPROPRIATION OR FUND, THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO REASON WHY SUCH AMOUNT COULD NOT REMAIN TO THE CREDIT OF SUCH APPROPRIATION OR FUND UNTIL CLAIMED BY THE HEIRS, NEXT OF KIN, OR CREDITORS, IF ANY. BUT IN A CASE SUCH AS HERE INVOLVED, WHERE, IN ADDITION TO COMPENSATION DUE THE DECEASED EMPLOYEE, THE PROCEEDS OF HIS EFFECTS ARE ALSO FOR DISPOSITION, AND THERE ARE NO KNOWN HEIRS, NEXT OF KIN, OR CREDITORS TO WHOM THE FUNDS MAY BE PAID, THE FUNDS WOULD APPEAR PROPERLY FOR DISPOSITION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROCEDURE OUTLINED IN DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE, 7 COMP. GEN. 271, RELATING TO FUNDS OF DECEASED CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT, AND 7 COMP. GEN. 355, RELATING TO UNCLAIMED INDIVIDUAL INDIAN MONEYS, BY PLACING THE FUNDS, INCLUDING BOTH THE PROCEEDS OF EFFECTS AND AMOUNT DUE FOR SALARY, TO THE CREDIT OF A SPECIAL FUND IN THE TREASURY, THERE TO BE HELD IN TRUST FOR THE PAYMENT OF ANY CLAIM WHICH MAY BE SUBMITTED THEREAFTER BY A PROPER REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ESTATE.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT TO TAKE CARE OF MATTERS SUCH AS HERE INVOLVED, A SPECIAL FUND IN THE TREASURY WILL BE ESTABLISHED UNDER THE TITLE,"EFFECTS OF DECEASED EMPLOYEES, INTERIOR DEPARTMENT," AND IN THE PRESENT CASE A SETTLEMENT WILL BE ISSUED BY THIS OFFICE CHARGING THE RECLAMATION FUND WITH THE AMOUNT OF $86.11, THE BALANCE DUE THE ESTATE OF JOHN LARSON, AND CREDITING THE NEW FUND WITH A LIKE AMOUNT, THUS DISPOSING OF THE FUNDS IN QUESTION. A PROPER RECORD SHOULD BE MADE IN THE MATTER SO THAT IF A CLAIM BY THE PARTY OR PARTIES IN INTEREST SHOULD BE SUBMITTED HEREAFTER, IT MAY BE GIVEN SUCH ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION AS MAY BE FOUND NECESSARY IN THAT RESPECT AND FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION AND SETTLEMENT.

THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY HAS BEEN FURNISHED A COPY OF THIS DECISION FOR HIS INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE.