A-31607, JUNE 3, 1930, 9 COMP. GEN. 495

A-31607: Jun 3, 1930

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WHICH STATEMENTS WERE NOT SIGNED BY THE VETERAN. WERE REDUCED TO WRITING AND SIGNED BY WITNESSES. AS A GENERAL PROPOSITION A WILL BEQUEATHING IN GENERAL TERMS ALL PERSONAL PROPERTY BUT CONTAINING NO SPECIFIC REFERENCE TO THE ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE OF THE VETERAN SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS DEFEATING THE RIGHT OF THE ORIGINALLY DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY. SUBSEQUENT TO THE SHOOTING AND PRIOR TO DEATH THE VETERAN EXECUTED A WILL IN GENERAL TERMS DISINHERITING THE WIFE. IN A STATE WHERE THERE IS NO RIGHT OF DOWER IN PERSONAL PROPERTY. AS FOLLOWS: I HAVE THE HONOR TO SOLICIT YOUR DECISION UPON THE FACTS IN THE CASES OF JOSEPH T. WHICH ARE NOW PENDING BEFORE THIS BUREAU FOR ADJUDICATION. THE CLAIMANT SIGNED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT WHICH WAS WITNESSED BY DR.

A-31607, JUNE 3, 1930, 9 COMP. GEN. 495

VETERANS' BUREAU - ADJUSTED COMPENSATION - CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY WHERE A VETERAN SIGNED A WRITTEN STATEMENT JUST PRIOR TO HIS DEATH CLEARLY SHOWING AN INTENTION THAT THE ORIGINALLY DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY, THE DIVORCED WIFE OF THE VETERAN, SHOULD NOT RECEIVE THE AMOUNT OF HIS ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE, PAYMENT THEREOF SHOULD NOT BE MADE TO THE ORIGINALLY DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY NOR TO THE PERSON DESIGNATED IN THE WRITTEN STATEMENT, BUT TO THE ESTATE OF THE VETERAN AS THOUGH NO BENEFICIARY HAD BEEN DESIGNATED. ALLEGED ORAL STATEMENTS OF A VETERAN MADE JUST PRIOR TO HIS DEATH EXPRESSING AN INTENTION TO NAME A DIFFERENT BENEFICIARY OF HIS ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE THAN THE PERSON ORIGINALLY DESIGNATED, WHICH STATEMENTS WERE NOT SIGNED BY THE VETERAN, BUT WERE REDUCED TO WRITING AND SIGNED BY WITNESSES, MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED AS DEFEATING THE RIGHT OF THE ORIGINALLY DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY. AS A GENERAL PROPOSITION A WILL BEQUEATHING IN GENERAL TERMS ALL PERSONAL PROPERTY BUT CONTAINING NO SPECIFIC REFERENCE TO THE ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE OF THE VETERAN SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS DEFEATING THE RIGHT OF THE ORIGINALLY DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY. HOWEVER, IN A CASE WHERE THE ORIGINALLY DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY BECAME DISQUALIFIED BY REASON OF HAVING FELONIOUSLY SHOT THE VETERAN, FROM WHICH HE DIED, AND SUBSEQUENT TO THE SHOOTING AND PRIOR TO DEATH THE VETERAN EXECUTED A WILL IN GENERAL TERMS DISINHERITING THE WIFE, IN A STATE WHERE THERE IS NO RIGHT OF DOWER IN PERSONAL PROPERTY, PAYMENT SHOULD NOT BE MADE TO THOSE CLAIMING THROUGH THE WIFE, SHE HAVING DIED, BUT TO THE ESTATE OF THE VETERAN AS THOUGH NO BENEFICIARY HAD BEEN DESIGNATED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE DIRECTOR, UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU, JUNE 3, 1930:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 29, 1930, AS FOLLOWS:

I HAVE THE HONOR TO SOLICIT YOUR DECISION UPON THE FACTS IN THE CASES OF JOSEPH T. MALONE, XC-746235, SALEM L. MOSES, XC-1192203, AND HAL R. JOHNSON, XC-423904, WHICH ARE NOW PENDING BEFORE THIS BUREAU FOR ADJUDICATION.

THE FACTS IN THE CASE OF JOSEPH T. MALONE MAY BE STATED AS FOLLOWS:

IN APRIL, 1925, THE VETERAN EXECUTED AN APPLICATION FOR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION BENEFITS DESIGNATING AS BENEFICIARY THEREOF,"MRS. BEATRICE MALONE, WIFE.' ON JUNE 8, 1929, WHILE A PATIENT IN THE BROWNSVILLE AND EAST NEW YORK HOSPITAL, BROOKLYN, N.Y., THE CLAIMANT SIGNED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT WHICH WAS WITNESSED BY DR. S. A. FORTUNOFF, IRENE V. BRADLEY, R.N., AND HARRY COHEN, NIGHT SUPERINTENDENT:

"TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

"I, JOSEPH T. MALONE, HAVING BEEN MARRIED TO BEATRICE MALONE HAD MADE HER BENEFICIARY OF MY UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT WAR-RISK INSURANCE POLICY. SHE, BEATRICE MALONE, HAVING LEGALLY DIVORCED ME, I HEREBY DECLARE MY INTENTION TO CHANGE THE BENEFICIARY ON SAID POLICY TO MY SISTER, SUSAN L. MALONE.'

THE VETERAN DIED IN THE HOSPITAL ON JUNE 9, 1929, ABOUT 4.30 O-CLOCK A.M. THE EVIDENCE ON FILE IN THIS BUREAU DISCLOSES THAT BEATRICE MALONE SECURED A DIVORCE FROM THE VETERAN ON THE 13TH DAY OF APRIL, 1928, AND THAT AT THE TIME OF THE EXECUTION OF THE INSTRUMENT ABOVE REFERRED TO HE HAD NO WAR- RISK INSURANCE, HE HAVING EXECUTED A REQUEST IN WRITING, FEBRUARY 10, 1919, THAT THE WAR-RISK INSURANCE WHICH HE APPLIED FOR ON FEBRUARY 1, 1918, BE DISCONTINUED. THE FILE FURTHER DISCLOSES THAT ON THE ORIGINAL APPLICATION FOR WAR-RISK INSURANCE THE VETERAN DESIGNATED AS BENEFICIARY,"NONE.'

THERE IS EVIDENCE IN FILE TENDING TO SHOW THAT THE REFERENCE TO HIS WAR- RISK INSURANCE IN THE INSTRUMENT EXECUTED JUNE 8, 1929, WAS INTENDED TO BE ADJUSTED COMPENSATION. THE INSTRUMENT ABOVE REFERRED TO IS NOT ACCEPTABLE AS A CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY UNDER BUREAU REGULATIONS, BECAUSE IT WAS NEITHER MAILED TO NOR RECEIVED IN THE BUREAU DURING THE LIFETIME OF THE VETERAN. THE QUESTION WHICH ARISES IN THIS CASE IS WHETHER THIS INSTRUMENT IS SUFFICIENT TO CONSTITUTE A CANCELLATION OF THE ORIGINAL DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARY UNDER THE ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE, THEREBY MAKING THE BENEFITS PAYABLE THEREUNDER TO THE ESTATE OF THE VETERAN IN THE SAME MANNER AS THOUGH NO BENEFICIARY HAD ORIGINALLY BEEN DESIGNATED.

THE FACTS IN THE SALEM L. MOSES CASE, MAY BE STATED AS FOLLOWS:

IN JULY, 1924, THE VETERAN EXECUTED AN APPLICATION FOR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION BENEFITS DESIGNATING AS BENEFICIARY "MRS. M. J. ALLEN, FRIEND.' THE VETERAN DIED AT THE RYBURN HOSPITAL, OTTAWA, ILL., AT 9.30 P.M., JULY 24, 1928, WITHOUT HAVING EXECUTED A WRITTEN APPLICATION FOR CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY. SUBSEQUENT TO HIS DEATH THERE WAS TRANSMITTED TO THE BUREAU THE STATEMENT OF ELSIE MANGELS AND PEARL KALLNER, SWORN TO ON OCTOBER 15, 1928, SETTING FORTH THAT THEY ARE STUDENT NURSES IN TRAINING AT THE RYBURN HOSPITAL IN THE CITY OF OTTAWA, ILL.; THAT THEY WERE IN SUCH TRAINING DURING THE TIME THAT THE VETERAN WAS CONFINED IN THAT HOSPITAL JUST PRIOR TO HIS DEATH, AND THAT ON THE 23RD DAY OF JULY, 1928 (THE DAY BEFORE HE DIED), THEY WERE IN THE PRESENCE OF THE DECEDENT, SALEM. MOSES, TOGETHER WITH THE ATTENDING PHYSICIAN, DR. E. P. HATHEWAY, AND AT THAT TIME AND PLACE THE VETERAN MADE THE FOLLOWING ORAL DECLARATION WHICH WAS SUBSEQUENTLY REDUCED TO WRITING, BUT WHICH WAS NOT SIGNED BY THE VETERAN BECAUSE HE WAS UNABLE TO AFFIX HIS SIGNATURE THERETO ON ACCOUNT OF HIS WEAKENED CONDITION.

"IN THE EVENT OF MY DEATH I DESIRE THAT ALL MY PERSONAL EFFECTS AND THE GOVERNMENT COMPENSATION BOND BE GIVEN TO JACK ROHR. HE WILL TAKE CARE OF ME AND MY THINGS.'

AN AFFIDAVIT SWORN TO BY DOCTOR HATHEWAY SETS FORTH THAT HE WAS ONE OF THE PHYSICIANS IN ATTENDANCE UPON THIS VETERAN AND THAT ON JULY 23, 1928, IN THE PRESENCE OF HIMSELF AND THE TWO STUDENT NURSES ABOVE REFERRED TO, THE VETERAN MADE THE VOLUNTARY STATEMENT QUOTED ABOVE, AND THAT THE STATEMENT WAS REDUCED TO WRITING AND SIGNED BY THE TWO STUDENT NURSES AS WITNESSES THERETO. THIS AFFIDAVIT STATES:

"* * * THE DECEDENT, SALEM L. MOSES, AT THE TIME HE MADE THE STATEMENT, WAS UNABLE TO SIGN THE WRITTEN STATEMENT, BUT NEVERTHELESS HE WAS AT THAT TIME OF CLEAR, SOUND, AND DISPOSING MIND AND MEMORY. SHORTLY AFTER THE MAKING OF THE ABOVE DECLARATION CONCERNING THE DISPOSITION OF THIS PROPERTY HE LAPSED INTO A DIABETIC COMA FROM WHICH HE DID NOT AROUSE UP TO THE TIME OF HIS DEATH.'

THE FILE DISCLOSES THE VETERAN WAS NOT RECEIVING COMPENSATION FROM THE BUREAU AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH, INASMUCH AS THE DISABILITY FROM WHICH HE WAS SUFFERING WAS HELD AS NOT INCURRED IN OR AGGRAVATED BY SERVICE.

THE QUESTION WHICH ARISES IN THIS CASE IS WHETHER THE ORAL STATEMENT IMMEDIATELY REDUCED TO WRITING BUT NOT SIGNED BY THE VETERAN IS SUFFICIENT TO CONSTITUTE A CANCELLATION OF THE ORIGINAL DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARY.

THE FACTS IN THE HAL R. JOHNSON CASE MAY BE STATED AS FOLLOWS:

IN NOVEMBER, 1924, THE VETERAN EXECUTED AN APPLICATION FOR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION BENEFITS DESIGNATING AS BENEFICIARY THEREOF "MRS. STELLA MAE JOHNSON, WIFE.' ON APRIL 2, 1929, THE DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY SHOT THE VETERAN AND AS THE RESULT OF THE GUNSHOT WOUND INFLICTED BY HER THE VETERAN DIED THE FOLLOWING DAY, APRIL 3, 1929. SUBSEQUENT TO THE TIME THE GUNSHOT WOUND WAS INFLICTED, AND PRIOR TO HIS DEATH, THE VETERAN EXECUTED A WILL WHICH HAS BEEN PROBATED, ITEM 2 OF WHICH READS AS FOLLOWS:

"I GIVE, DEVISE, AND BEQUEATH ALL OF MY PROPERTY, REAL AND PERSONAL AND MIXED, WHATSOEVER AND WHERESOEVER SITUATE, TO MY BELOVED UNCLE, WILLIAM E. JOHNSON, RESIDING AT FOREST, OHIO, TO HAVE AND TO HOLD, TO HIM, HIS HEIRS AND ASSIGNS FOREVER.'

THE ORIGINAL DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY, THE WIFE, DIED ON MAY 4, 1929. THE QUESTION WHICH ARISES IN THIS CASE IS WHETHER THE WILL OF THE VETERAN WHICH WAS EXECUTED SUBSEQUENT TO THE TIME THE GUNSHOT WOUND WAS INFLICTED BY THE ORIGINAL BENEFICIARY, AND WHICH MAKES NO SPECIFIC REFERENCE TO ADJUSTED COMPENSATION, IS SUFFICIENT TO CONSTITUTE A CANCELLATION OF THE ORIGINAL DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARY UNDER THE ADJUSTED COMPENSATION CERTIFICATE SO THAT A PAYMENT TO THE ESTATE WOULD BE IN ORDER, IN WHICH EVENT OF COURSE THE PROCEEDS WOULD PASS TO THE UNCLE UNDER THE WILL. THIS CONNECTION YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO THE LAST PROVISO OF SECTION 19 OF H.R. 10381 (AN ACT TO AMEND THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT, 1924, AS AMENDED), WHICH PASSED THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES APRIL 24, 1930, AND IS NOW PENDING IN THE SENATE. A COPY OF H.R. 10381 IS INCLOSED FOR YOUR INFORMATION.

THE FACTS IN THESE CASES ARE BEING SUBMITTED FOR YOUR DECISION BECAUSE OF YOUR RULING IN THE CASE OF WILLIE WILLIS (DECISIONS DATED NOV. 9, 1929, AND JAN. 14, 1930), WHEREIN YOU HELD THAT IN ALL CASES ARISING UNDER THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT IN WHICH THERE IS CLEARLY SHOWN AN ACTION BY THE VETERAN INTENDED TO PRECLUDE A FORMER BENEFICIARY FROM RECEIVING THE PROCEEDS OF THE ADJUSTED COMPENSATION CERTIFICATE SUCH ACTION, IS NOT ACCEPTABLE AS A CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY, SHOULD CONSTITUTE A CANCELLATION OR REVOCATION OF THE ORIGINAL DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARY.

IN DECISION OF MARCH 18, 1927, CASE OF JOHN WILLIAM CORUDLE (6 COMP. GEN. 599) IT WAS HELD AS FOLLOWS:

WHEN A VETERAN MAKES A PROPER DESIGNATION OF A BENEFICIARY UNDER AN ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE AND LATER TWICE ATTEMPTS TO CHANGE THE BENEFICIARY BUT FAILS BECAUSE THE ATTEMPTED CHANGES WERE NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH LAW AND REGULATIONS, SUCH ACTION SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS CANCELING THE FIRST DESIGNATION, AND PAYMENTS UNDER THE CERTIFICATE SHOULD BE MADE TO THE ESTATE OF THE VETERAN AS THOUGH NO BENEFICIARY HAD BEEN DESIGNATED.

THE GENERAL PRINCIPLE THUS ANNOUNCED WAS APPLIED IN DECISIONS OF NOVEMBER 9, 1929, 9 COMP. GEN. 195, AND JANUARY 14, 1930, ID. 285, IN THE CASE OF WILLIE WILLIS, BOTH DECISIONS HOLD AS FOLLOWS (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS OF THE FIRST DECISION):

A DIRECTION IN A LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF A WORLD WAR VETERAN NOT "MAILED TO THE UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU DURING THE LIFETIME OF THE VETERAN" MAY NOT BE RECOGNIZED AS A LAWFUL CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY UNDER THE TERMS OF SECTION 501 OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT OF MAY 19, 1924, 43 STAT. 125, SO AS TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT OF THE ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE TO THE PERSON OR PERSONS NAMED IN THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT, BUT SUCH ACTION SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS CANCELING THE FIRST DESIGNATION, AND PAYMENT UNDER THE CERTIFICATE SHOULD BE MADE TO THE ESTATE OF THE VETERAN AS THOUGH NO BENEFICIARY HAD BEEN DESIGNATED.

IN THE DECISION OF FEBRUARY 6, 1930, 9 COMP. GEN. 344, CASE OF HENRY J. PARTRIDGE, IT WAS HELD AS FOLLOWS, QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS:

THERE IS NO LEGAL PRINCIPLE OR SOUND BASIS UNDER WHICH THE RIGHT OF THE ORIGINALLY DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY OF AN ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE CAN BE DEFEATED SOLELY ON THE BASIS OF PAROL EVIDENCE, ADDUCED AFTER THE DEATH OF THE VETERAN, TENDING TO SHOW HIS INTENT OR UNDERSTANDING THAT SOME ONE OTHER THAN SUCH DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY SHOULD RECEIVE THE AMOUNT. 6 COMP. GEN. 599; 9 ID. 195; ID. 285, DISTINGUISHED.

IN THE CASE OF JOSEPH T. MALONE, PRESENTED BY YOU, THE VETERAN ACTUALLY SIGNED A WRITTEN STATEMENT PRIOR TO HIS DEATH, CLEARLY SHOWING AN INTENTION THAT THE ORIGINALLY DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY SHOULD NOT RECEIVE THE BENEFITS OF HIS "WAR-RISK INSURANCE POLICY," WHICH WAS INTENDED TO REFER TO HIS ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE SINCE HE HAD IN FORCE NO WAR- RISK INSURANCE AND AT NO TIME WAS HIS FORMER WIFE NAMED AS DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY IN HIS WAR-RISK INSURANCE POLICY. THE PRINCIPLE ANNOUNCED IN THE FIRST DECISION OF MARCH 18, 1927, CASE OF CORUDLE, IS FOR APPLICATION, AND PAYMENT SHOULD BE MADE TO THE ESTATE OF THE VETERAN IN THE SAME MANNER AS THOUGH NO BENEFICIARY HAD BEEN DESIGNATED.

THE FACTS IN THE CASE OF SALEM. L. MOSES SHOW IT TO BE A BORDERLINE CASE BETWEEN THE PRINCIPLE ANNOUNCED IN THE CORUDLE AND WILLIE WILLIS CASES ON THE ONE HAND, AND THE PRINCIPLE ANNOUNCED IN THE HENRY J. PARTRIDGE CASE ON THE OTHER. THAT IS TO SAY, THERE ARE INDICATIONS OF AN INTENTION EXPRESSED BY THE VETERAN THAT THE ORIGINALLY DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY SHOULD NOT RECEIVE THE PROCEEDS OF THE ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE, BUT THAT INTENT WAS NOT ACTUALLY EXPRESSED IN WRITING SIGNED BY THE VETERAN HIMSELF. IF THE ALLEGED STATEMENTS OF THE VETERAN WHICH WERE REDUCED TO WRITING BUT NOT SIGNED BY HIM HAD BEEN ADMITTED TO PROBATE AS A NONCUPATIVE WILL UNDER THE LAWS OF ILLINOIS

SEE IN RE GROSSMAN'S ESTATE, 51 N.E. 750, 175 ILL. 425, 40 CYC. 1134), THE SAME MIGHT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED AS DEFEATING THE RIGHTS OF THE ORIGINALLY DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY. HOWEVER, IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT NO ATTEMPT HAS BEEN MADE TO PROBATE THE STATEMENT AS A WILL, BUT AN ADMINISTRATOR OF THE VETERAN'S ESTATE HAS BEEN APPOINTED UPON REPRESENTATION TO THE COURT THAT HE DIED INTESTATE. IN VIEW THEREOF TOO MUCH DOUBT HAS BEEN CAST ON THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE ALLEGED ORAL STATEMENT OF THE VETERAN REDUCED TO WRITING BY OTHERS WHICH IS MORE PROPERLY CLASSED AS PAROL EVIDENCE TO BE EXCLUDED FROM CONSIDERATION IN DETERMINING THE LAWFUL BENEFICIARY OF THE ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE, UNDER THE PRINCIPLE ANNOUNCED IN THE DECISION OF FEBRUARY 6, 1930, CASE OF HENRY J. PARTRIDGE. ACCORDINGLY, PAYMENT IN THIS CASE SHOULD BE MADE TO THE ORIGINALLY DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY, MRS. M. J. ALLEN, FRIEND.

REFERRING TO THE CASE OF HAL R. JOHNSON, IF THE VETERAN HAD TAKEN NO ACTION ATTEMPTING TO CHANGE THE BENEFICIARY SUBSEQUENT TO THE TIME HIS WIFE, THE ORIGINALLY DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY, SHOT HIM, AND PRIOR TO HIS DEATH, THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN FOR APPLICATION THE PRINCIPLE ANNOUNCED BY THIS OFFICE IN THE CASE OF WILLIAM C. WILLIAMS, DECISION OF MAY 29, 1926, A-13608, WHEREIN IT WAS HELD THAT NO PAYMENT WAS AUTHORIZED TO ANYONE, EITHER THROUGH THE ORIGINALLY DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY OR THROUGH THE ESTATE OF THE VETERAN, UNDER AN ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE WHERE THE DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY FELONIOUSLY KILLED THE VETERAN ON THE BASIS OF WHOSE SERVICE THE CERTIFICATE WAS ISSUED. THE PRINCIPLE INVOLVED WAS ONE OF PUBLIC POLICY, THE PURPOSE BEING TO PRECLUDE THE WIFE OR THOSE CLAIMING THROUGH HER TO BENEFIT BY THE DEATH OF THE VETERAN WHOM SHE KILLED, EITHER AS THE DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY OR AS A BENEFICIARY UNDER THE ESTATE OF THE VETERAN.

BUT IN THIS CASE THE VETERAN, AFTER WIFE'S ACTION WHICH SUBSEQUENTLY RESULTED IN HIS DEATH, DEFINITELY DISINHERITED THE WIFE BY EXECUTION OF A WILL NAMING ANOTHER WHICH WOULD PRECLUDE ANY PAYMENT TO THOSE CLAIMING THROUGH HER, THERE BEING NO RIGHTS OF DOWER TO PERSONALTY IN THE STATE OF OHIO, THE DOMICILE OF THE VETERAN. THE PROCEEDS OF AN ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE FOR WHICH A BENEFICIARY HAS BEEN DESIGNATED DO NOT BECOME A PART OF A VETERAN'S ESTATE UPON HIS DEATH, AND, THEREFORE, IT SHOULD BE HELD, AS A GENERAL PROPOSITION, THAT A WILL BEQUEATHING IN GENERAL TERMS ALL PERSONAL PROPERTY, BUT CONTAINING NO SPECIFIC REFERENCE TO THE ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE, SHOULD NOT DEFEAT THE RIGHTS OF THE DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY. HOWEVER, WHERE THERE HAS BEEN NO BENEFICIARY DESIGNATED THE PROCEEDS OF AN ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE PASS TO THE ESTATE OF THE VETERAN UNDER THE STATUTE AND A DEVISEE UNDER A WILL IN GENERAL TERMS WOULD TAKE. THE DISQUALIFICATION OF THE ORIGINALLY DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY IN THIS CASE, BY REASON OF HER CRIME, MAY BE CONSIDERED AS LEAVING THE CASE AS THOUGH NO BENEFICIARY HAD BEEN DESIGNATED; AND SINCE THE VETERAN EXECUTED A WILL UNDER THE TERMS OF WHICH THERE WOULD BE NO POSSIBILITY OF THOSE CLAIMING THROUGH THE WIFE RECEIVING ANY BENEFIT FROM THE DEATH OF THE VETERAN, PAYMENT OF THE ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE TO THE ESTATE OF THE VETERAN WOULD NOT BE AGAINST PUBLIC POLICY AND MAY BE MADE ACCORDINGLY.

IF H.R. 10381 NOW PENDING BEFORE THE CONGRESS DOES NOT BECOME A LAW BEFORE SUCH ACTION MAY BE TAKEN, THERE SHOULD BE ELIMINATED THEREFROM THE PROVISO TO SECTION 19 OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT THEREIN PROPOSED IN SECTION 4, RELATIVE TO THE CLAIM OF HAL R. JOHNSON, XC 423904, LINES 14 TO 18, PAGE 9.

IN YOUR FURTHER SUBMISSION BY LETTER OF MAY 14, 1930, YOU REQUEST DECISION OF THE FOLLOWING QUESTION:

SHOULD THIS BUREAU MAKE DUPLICATE PAYMENTS TO THE ESTATE OF A VETERAN IN THOSE CASES WHERE, SUBSEQUENT TO THE TIME AN AWARD OF ADJUSTED COMPENSATION BENEFITS IS APPROVED IN FAVOR OF THE DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY UNDER THE ADJUSTED COMPENSATION CERTIFICATE, EVIDENCE IS RECEIVED IN THE BUREAU WHICH WOULD BE SUFFICIENT TO CONSTITUTE A CANCELLATION OR REVOCATION OF THE ORIGINAL DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARY UNDER YOUR DECISIONS IN THE CASE OF WILLIE WILLIS, XC-1307570? (DECISIONS, A-28938, DATED NOVEMBER 9, 1929, AND JANUARY 14, 1930.)

YOU DO NOT SUBMIT THE FACTS IN ANY CASE NOW PENDING. IF AND WHEN SUCH A CASE SHOULD ARISE REQUIRING CONSIDERATION OF THE QUESTION PRESENTED, THE MATTER WILL BE GIVEN CONSIDERATION BY THIS OFFICE.