B-145509, MAY 26, 1961

B-145509: May 26, 1961

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WILL BE TREATED AS A REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT DATED OCTOBER 22. ON THE BASIS THAT THERE WERE NO KNOWN RELATIVES OF THE DECEDENT. PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM AS ADMINISTRATOR WAS DISALLOWED UNDER THE UNIFORM RULE OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS THAT WHERE THE CLAIM AGAINST THE UNITED STATES IS THE SOLE ASSET OF THE ESTATE. VASEK TOOK THE DECEDENT WHEN HE WAS NINE YEARS OLD AND RAISED HIM AND THAT HE STAYED WITH YOU UNTIL HE ENTERED THE ARMED SERVICES. THAT YOU WERE ONLY HIS FOSTER PARENTS. WE TRUST YOU WILL UNDERSTAND THAT IN THE SETTLEMENT OF THE ACCOUNTS OF DECEASED MEMBERS OF THE ARMY. SINCE THE DECEDENT IS NOT SURVIVED BY LEGAL HEIRS AND AS THERE ARE NO CREDITORS OR OTHER ASSETS OF THE ESTATE.

B-145509, MAY 26, 1961

TO MR. RUDOLPH VASEK:

YOUR LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 8, 1960, REFERRED HERE BY THE FINANCE CENTER, U.S. ARMY, INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, RELATIVE TO THE AMOUNT DUE IN THE PAY ACCOUNT OF VICTOR E. GUEARIN, DECEASED, ASN 6269496, FORMERLY STAFF SERGEANT, COAST ARTILLERY CORPS, AT DATE OF DEATH, OCTOBER 24, 1944, WILL BE TREATED AS A REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT DATED OCTOBER 22, 1946, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM AS ADMINISTRATOR FOR THE SAME FUNDS.

ON THE BASIS THAT THERE WERE NO KNOWN RELATIVES OF THE DECEDENT, AND NO CREDITORS OR OTHER ASSETS OF THE ESTATE, PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM AS ADMINISTRATOR WAS DISALLOWED UNDER THE UNIFORM RULE OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS THAT WHERE THE CLAIM AGAINST THE UNITED STATES IS THE SOLE ASSET OF THE ESTATE, THERE MUST BE A SHOWING OF HEIRS, CREDITORS, ETC., BEFORE THE CLAIM MAY BE ALLOWED AND THAT THE CLAIM MAY NOT BE ALLOWED WHERE THE SOLE RESULT WOULD BE AN ESCHEAT TO THE STATE.

IT APPEARS THAT YOU AND MRS. VASEK TOOK THE DECEDENT WHEN HE WAS NINE YEARS OLD AND RAISED HIM AND THAT HE STAYED WITH YOU UNTIL HE ENTERED THE ARMED SERVICES. YOU STATE, HOWEVER, THAT YOU WERE ONLY HIS FOSTER PARENTS, THAT YOU NEVER LEGALLY ADOPTED HIM AS YOUR SON, AND THAT HE LEFT NO HEIRS OR NEXT OF KIN OF ANY DEGREE OF RELATIONSHIP. THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1906, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 25, 1946, 60 STAT. 30, GOVERNING THE SETTLEMENT OF ACCOUNTS OF DECEASED PERSONNEL OF THE ARMY WHO DIED PRIOR TO JANUARY 1, 1956, SETS FORTH THE ORDER OF PRECEDENCE OF THE HEIRS TO WHOM PAYMENT MAY BE MADE IN THE ABSENCE OF A DEMAND FROM A DULY APPOINTED LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ESTATE. UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THAT ACT STEPPARENTS DO NOT QUALIFY AS LEGAL HEIRS TO WHOM PAYMENT MAY BE MADE AS THEY DO NOT COME WITHIN ANY OF THE CLASSES THERE ENUMERATED.

WHILE APPRECIATING YOUR FEELINGS IN THE MATTER, WE TRUST YOU WILL UNDERSTAND THAT IN THE SETTLEMENT OF THE ACCOUNTS OF DECEASED MEMBERS OF THE ARMY, INCLUDING SOLDIERS' DEPOSITS PAYABLE ON DEATH TO THE MEMBER'S HEIRS OR LEGAL REPRESENTATIVES, OUR OFFICE MUST BE GOVERNED BY THE RULES OF LAW APPLICABLE IN SUCH CASES. SINCE THE DECEDENT IS NOT SURVIVED BY LEGAL HEIRS AND AS THERE ARE NO CREDITORS OR OTHER ASSETS OF THE ESTATE, WE PROPERLY MAY NOT ALLOW YOUR CLAIM. THE SETTLEMENT DATED OCTOBER 22, 1946, MUST BE SUSTAINED.