B-124827, OCT. 6, 1955

B-124827: Oct 6, 1955

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

HENRIETTA CALDWELL: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF JUNE 22 AND SEPTEMBER 18. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT UNDER THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA. SINCE THE RECORD REVEALS THAT THE FUNERAL EXPENSES WERE PAID BY MRS. SHE WOULD HAVE A PREFERRED CLAIM IN AN AMOUNT NOT IN EXCESS OF THE FUNERAL EXPENSES. THE SETTLEMENT BY OUR OFFICE OF CLAIMS FOR UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE IN THE CASE OF A DECEASED CIVILIAN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT IS GOVERNED BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 3. THE UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE THE DECEDENT AT THE DATE OF HIS DEATH WILL BE DISTRIBUTED ACCORDING TO THE LAWS OF THE DOMICILE OF THE DECEASED EMPLOYEE. WHICH IN THIS CASE IS PENNSYLVANIA. HESSINGTON MIGHT HAVE PAID THE FUNERAL EXPENSES FROM THE PROCEEDS OF AN INSURANCE POLICY OF THE DECEASED.

B-124827, OCT. 6, 1955

TO MRS. HENRIETTA CALDWELL:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF JUNE 22 AND SEPTEMBER 18, 1955, IN EFFECT REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF THE SETTLEMENT OF JUNE 17, 1955, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM, AS SISTER, FOR UNPAID SALARY ($59.57) DUE FREDERICK F. FALKENSTEIN, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, FRANKFORD ARSENAL, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, UPON THE DATE OF HIS DEATH FEBRUARY 16, 1955.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT UNDER THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA, THE DOMICILE OF THE DECEDENT AT THE DATE OF HIS DEATH, FUNERAL EXPENSES CONSTITUTE A PREFERRED CLAIM AND, SINCE THE RECORD REVEALS THAT THE FUNERAL EXPENSES WERE PAID BY MRS. EVA HESSINGTON, SHE WOULD HAVE A PREFERRED CLAIM IN AN AMOUNT NOT IN EXCESS OF THE FUNERAL EXPENSES.

THE SETTLEMENT BY OUR OFFICE OF CLAIMS FOR UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE IN THE CASE OF A DECEASED CIVILIAN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT IS GOVERNED BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 3, 1950, 64 STAT. 395. UNDER THE PLAIN WORDING OF THE ABOVE-MENTIONED STATUTE, WHERE AN EMPLOYEE DIES WITHOUT DESIGNATING A BENEFICIARY, OR LEAVING A SURVIVING SPOUSE, CHILDREN OR PARENTS, AND THERE HAS NOT BEEN APPOINTED A LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE DECEDENT'S ESTATE, THE UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE THE DECEDENT AT THE DATE OF HIS DEATH WILL BE DISTRIBUTED ACCORDING TO THE LAWS OF THE DOMICILE OF THE DECEASED EMPLOYEE, WHICH IN THIS CASE IS PENNSYLVANIA. HENCE, THE ACTION TAKEN IN THE SETTLEMENT OF JUNE 17, 1955, IN APPLYING THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA APPEARS CORRECT. THE FACT THAT MRS. HESSINGTON MIGHT HAVE PAID THE FUNERAL EXPENSES FROM THE PROCEEDS OF AN INSURANCE POLICY OF THE DECEASED, OF WHICH SHE WAS THE BENEFICIARY, WOULD NOT MAKE ANY MATERIAL DIFFERENCE, SINCE THE PROCEEDS OF THE INSURANCE POLICY ARE TO BE REGARDED AS HER OWN PERSONAL FUNDS.

BY REASON OF THE FOREGOING, THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED.