A-5055, OCTOBER 6, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 358

A-5055: Oct 6, 1924

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ANY CLAIM THERE MAY BE IS FOR ACCRUED PENSION. 1924: THERE IS BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION THE CLAIM OF ADDIE B. FROM THE FACTS AS DISCLOSED BY THE EVIDENCE ON FILE IT APPEARS THAT THE CHECK WAS DELIVERED TO THE PAYEE. THAT THE CHECK WAS NOT NEGOTIATED OR INDORSED PRIOR TO SAID DATE. THE CHECK WAS RETURNED BY ATTORNEYS FOR THE CONSERVATOR TO THE COMMISSIONER OF PENSIONS. IT WAS STATED. MARSH WAS ON MAY 13. IN THE BODY OF THE VOUCHER IT IS STATED THAT EMILY S. THE QUESTION PRESENTED FOR DECISION IS WHETHER THE CONSERVATOR BY VIRTUE OF THE CONSERVATORSHIP IS ENTITLED TO THE AMOUNT REPRESENTED BY THIS CHECK. IT IS A WELL-RECOGNIZED PRINCIPLE OF LAW THAT THE RELATION OF CONSERVATOR AND WARD IS TERMINATED OF NECESSITY BY THE DEATH OF THE WARD.

A-5055, OCTOBER 6, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 358

ESTATES OF DECEDENTS - PENSION CHECKS THE CONSERVATOR OF THE PROPERTY OF A MENTALLY INCOMPETENT PENSIONER HAS NO RIGHT BY VIRTUE OF SUCH CONSERVATORSHIP UPON A VOUCHER EXECUTED AFTER THE DEATH OF PENSIONER TO THE PROCEEDS OF A PENSION CHECK PAYABLE TO THE PENSIONER AND RECEIVED EITHER BY HIM OR THE CONSERVATOR PRIOR TO THE DEATH OF THE PENSIONER BUT NOT NEGOTIATED OR INDORSED. ANY CLAIM THERE MAY BE IS FOR ACCRUED PENSION.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, OCTOBER 6, 1924:

THERE IS BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION THE CLAIM OF ADDIE B. MARSH AS CONSERVATOR OF THE ESTATE OF EMILY S. COLE, A PENSIONER, FOR THE PROCEEDS OF INTERIOR PENSION CHECK NO. 16008720, DATED JULY 4, 1924, FOR $30 DRAWN ON PENSION CERTIFICATE NO. 455715, BY E.E. MILLER, DISBURSING CLERK, IN FAVOR OF THE SAID EMILY S. COLE.

FROM THE FACTS AS DISCLOSED BY THE EVIDENCE ON FILE IT APPEARS THAT THE CHECK WAS DELIVERED TO THE PAYEE, OR TO THE LEGALLY APPOINTED CONSERVATOR OF HER ESTATE, PRIOR TO JULY 18, 1924, THE DATE OF HER DEATH, BUT THAT THE CHECK WAS NOT NEGOTIATED OR INDORSED PRIOR TO SAID DATE.

BY LETTER DATED JULY 7, 1924, THE CHECK WAS RETURNED BY ATTORNEYS FOR THE CONSERVATOR TO THE COMMISSIONER OF PENSIONS, WASHINGTON, D.C., REQUESTING INFORMATION AS TO THE EVIDENCE REQUIRED IN ORDER TO MAKE PAYMENT OF THE CHECK TO ADDIE B. MARSH, WHO, IT WAS STATED, HAD BEEN APPOINTED CONSERVATOR OF THE ESTATE OF EMILY S. COLE.

ON AUGUST 8, 1924, ADDIE B. MARSH FILED WITH THE PENSION OFFICE A COURT CERTIFICATE SIGNED BY THE REGISTER OF PROBATE, BELKNAP COUNTY, N.H., CERTIFYING THAT ADDIE B. MARSH WAS ON MAY 13, 1924, DULY APPOINTED CONSERVATOR OF THE ESTATE OF EMILY S. COLE, THE LATTER BEING DESCRIBED AS A PERSON UNDER DISABILITIES. WITH THIS CERTIFICATE THE CONSERVATOR SUBMITTED A VOUCHER FOR PAYMENT OF THE PENSION REPRESENTED BY THE CHECK IN QUESTION. IN THE BODY OF THE VOUCHER IT IS STATED THAT EMILY S. COLE DIED JULY 18, 1924. THE PENSION CANCELED THE CHECK, IN ACCORDANCE WITH ITS PROCEDURE IN SUCH CASES, AND FORWARDED THE PAPERS TO THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION.

THE QUESTION PRESENTED FOR DECISION IS WHETHER THE CONSERVATOR BY VIRTUE OF THE CONSERVATORSHIP IS ENTITLED TO THE AMOUNT REPRESENTED BY THIS CHECK.

IT IS A WELL-RECOGNIZED PRINCIPLE OF LAW THAT THE RELATION OF CONSERVATOR AND WARD IS TERMINATED OF NECESSITY BY THE DEATH OF THE WARD, AND THEREAFTER ANY EXERCISE OF LEGAL AUTHORITY ON THE PART OF THE CONSERVATOR OVER PROPERTY OF THE WARD NOT THEN IN THE CONSERVATOR'S POSSESSION WOULD BE UNAUTHORIZED. THE CHECK IN THIS CASE DID NOT LEGALLY COME INTO THE POSSESSION OF THE CONSERVATOR, FOR THE REASON THAT AFTER APPOINTMENT OF A CONSERVATOR CHECKS MAY NOT LEGALLY BE ISSUED IN THE NAME OF OR DELIVERED TO THE PENSIONER, AND CAN BE ISSUED IN THE NAME OF AND LEGALLY DELIVERED TO THE CONSERVATOR ONLY UPON AND AFTER THE EXECUTION OF A PROPER VOUCHER FOR THE AMOUNT OF THE PENSION. AS THE VOUCHER IN THIS CASE WAS NOT EXECUTED UNTIL AFTER THE DEATH OF THE PENSIONER, PAYMENT THEREON IS NOT AUTHORIZED. SUCH CLAIM AS THERE MAY BE IN THIS CASE IS FOR PRESENTATION BY THE PERSON OR PERSONS, IF ANY, ENTITLED TO THE ACCRUED PENSION, AND IS FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMISSIONER OF PENSIONS UNDER THE LAWS RELATING TO PAYMENT OF ACCRUED PENSIONS.