B-133648, OCT. 10, 1957

B-133648: Oct 10, 1957

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

AS EXECUTOR OF THE WILL OF EMORY WESTLAKE BRYAN WAS DENIED BECAUSE THE DECEDENT. WAS SURVIVED BY A WIDOW. WHO IS ENTITLED TO THE UNPAID AMOUNT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 3. IT IS NOTED THAT YOU ARE THE SON OF A DECEDENT AND THAT YOU QUALIFIED AS EXECUTOR OF THE WILL OF EMORY WESTLAKE BRYAN. IN YOUR RECENT LETTER YOU STATE THAT THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF THE DECEASED CONSTITUTES A DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARY BY THE DECEASED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACT OF AUGUST 3. TO THE BENEFICIARY OR BENEFICIARIES DESIGNATED BY THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE IN WRITING TO RECEIVE SUCH COMPENSATION FILED WITH THE GOVERNMENT AGENCY IN WHICH THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE WAS EMPLOYED AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH.

B-133648, OCT. 10, 1957

TO MR. EMORY B. BRYAN:

YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 21, 1957, REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION OF OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT DATED AUGUST 6, 1957, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE EMORY WESTLAKE BRYAN, A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH.

PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM, AS EXECUTOR OF THE WILL OF EMORY WESTLAKE BRYAN WAS DENIED BECAUSE THE DECEDENT, WHOSE DEATH OCCURRED MAY 26, 1957, WAS SURVIVED BY A WIDOW, WHO IS ENTITLED TO THE UNPAID AMOUNT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 3, 1950 (PUBLIC LAW 636), 64 STAT. 395.

IT IS NOTED THAT YOU ARE THE SON OF A DECEDENT AND THAT YOU QUALIFIED AS EXECUTOR OF THE WILL OF EMORY WESTLAKE BRYAN, DECEASED, ON JUNE 4, 1957. IN YOUR RECENT LETTER YOU STATE THAT THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF THE DECEASED CONSTITUTES A DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARY BY THE DECEASED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACT OF AUGUST 3, 1950.

THE ACT OF AUGUST 3, 1950, PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"THAT IN ORDER TO FACILITATE THE SETTLEMENT OF THE ACCOUNTS OF DECEASED CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (INCLUDING WHOLLY OWNED AND MIXED- OWNERSHIP GOVERNMENT CORPORATIONS) ALL UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE SUCH AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH SHALL BE PAID TO THE PERSON OR PERSONS SURVIVING AT THE DATE OF DEATH, IN THE FOLLOWING ORDER OF PRECEDENCE, AND SUCH PAYMENT SHALL BE A BAR TO RECOVERY BY ANY OTHER PERSON OF AMOUNTS SO PAID:

"FIRST, TO THE BENEFICIARY OR BENEFICIARIES DESIGNATED BY THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE IN WRITING TO RECEIVE SUCH COMPENSATION FILED WITH THE GOVERNMENT AGENCY IN WHICH THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE WAS EMPLOYED AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH, AND RECEIVED BY SUCH AGENCY PRIOR TO THE OFFICER'S OR EMPLOYEE'S DEATH;

"SECOND, IF THERE BE NO SUCH BENEFICIARY, TO THE WIDOW OR WIDOWER OF SUCH OFFICER, OR EMPLOYEE;

"THIRD, IF THERE BE NO BENEFICIARY OR SURVIVING SPOUSE, TO THE CHILD OR CHILDREN OF SUCH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE, THE DESCENDANTS OF DECEASED CHILDREN, BY REPRESENTATION.'

THUS, UNDER THE ACT ALL UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE A DECEASED EMPLOYEE AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH IS TO BE PAID TO THE PERSON OR PERSONS SURVIVING AND IN THE ORDER OF PRECEDENCE SET FORTH THEREIN. AN EXAMINATION OF THE RECORDS HERE DISCLOSES THAT THE DECEDENT FAILED TO DESIGNATE A BENEFICIARY IN WRITING (FIRST STEP IN THE ORDER OF PRECEDENCE) AND FILE SAME WITH THE GOVERNMENT AGENCY IN WHICH HE WAS EMPLOYED PRIOR TO HIS DEATH. THUS HIS PROBATED WILL DOES NOT MEET THE STATUTORY REQUIREMENT TO DESIGNATE A BENEFICIARY. HOWEVER, HE WAS SURVIVED BY A WIDOW, WHO, IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIED UNDER THE FIRST STEP OF THE ORDER OF PRECEDENCE, IS ENTITLED TO THE UNPAID COMPENSATION DETERMINED TO BE DUE YOUR FATHER AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH.

SINCE THE PROVISIONS OF THE QUOTED STATUTE ARE MANDATORY--- THE WIDOW OF THE DECEDENT TAKING PRECEDENCE OVER YOU AS SON AND EXECUTOR OF THE WILL OF EMORY WESTLAKE BRYAN, DECEASED--- OUR OFFICE HAS NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO DENY YOUR CLAIM FOR THE SUM DUE THE DECEDENT AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH. ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 6, 1957, MUST BE SUSTAINED.

WE NOW HAVE BEFORE US FOR SETTLEMENT A CLAIM FROM MRS. LOUISA B. BRYAN, AS WIDOW OF THE ..END :