B-147549, NOV. 22, 1961

B-147549: Nov 22, 1961

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YOU SAY THAT ALTHOUGH YOUR NAME IS MARY E. YOU ARE A COUSIN OF THE DECEASED AND DID RESIDE AT THE ABOVE ADDRESS AT THE TIME THE DECEDENT EXECUTED FORM 1152 DESIGNATING MARY E. YOU BELIEVE IT WAS THE INTENTION OF THE DECEDENT TO DESIGNATE YOU AS THE BENEFICIARY AND THE NAME SHOWN ON FORM 1152 INDICATING THE BENEFICIARY AS MARY E. SANCHEZ WAS MISSPELLED AND ERRONEOUS AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN SHOWN AS MARY E. YOU FURTHER SAY YOU ARE NOT AWARE OF THE EXISTENCE OF ANY PERSON BY THE NAME OF MARY E. SANCHEZ AND THAT SUCH PERSON IS UNKNOWN TO THE DECEDENT'S SURVIVING BROTHERS. CONSIDERABLE DOUBT IN THE MATTER ARISES SINCE THE RECORD ALSO SHOWS THAT THE DECEDENT'S FORMER WIFE WAS AT ONE TIME KNOWN AS MARY SANCHEZ AND THE DECEDENT HAD BEEN KNOWN TO HAVE REFERRED TO HER AS HIS COUSIN AFTER THEIR DIVORCE.

B-147549, NOV. 22, 1961

TO MRS. MARY E. SANTOS:

YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 23, 1961, RELATES TO OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF OCTOBER 17, 1961, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR THE PAYMENT OF UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE GEORGE FARIA, DECEASED, A FORMER CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, SHARP GENERAL DEPOT, LATHROP, CALIFORNIA.

THE RECORD SHOWS THE DECEDENT DESIGNATED MARY E. SANCHEZ, A COUSIN, RESIDING AT 330 RODEO AVENUE, RODEO, CALIFORNIA, TO RECEIVE ANY UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE HIM AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH.

YOU SAY THAT ALTHOUGH YOUR NAME IS MARY E. SANTOS, YOU ARE A COUSIN OF THE DECEASED AND DID RESIDE AT THE ABOVE ADDRESS AT THE TIME THE DECEDENT EXECUTED FORM 1152 DESIGNATING MARY E. SANCHEZ AS THE SOLE BENEFICIARY TO RECEIVE ANY UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE HIM AFTER DEATH, YOU BELIEVE IT WAS THE INTENTION OF THE DECEDENT TO DESIGNATE YOU AS THE BENEFICIARY AND THE NAME SHOWN ON FORM 1152 INDICATING THE BENEFICIARY AS MARY E. SANCHEZ WAS MISSPELLED AND ERRONEOUS AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN SHOWN AS MARY E. SANTOS. YOU FURTHER SAY YOU ARE NOT AWARE OF THE EXISTENCE OF ANY PERSON BY THE NAME OF MARY E. SANCHEZ AND THAT SUCH PERSON IS UNKNOWN TO THE DECEDENT'S SURVIVING BROTHERS.

HOWEVER, CONSIDERABLE DOUBT IN THE MATTER ARISES SINCE THE RECORD ALSO SHOWS THAT THE DECEDENT'S FORMER WIFE WAS AT ONE TIME KNOWN AS MARY SANCHEZ AND THE DECEDENT HAD BEEN KNOWN TO HAVE REFERRED TO HER AS HIS COUSIN AFTER THEIR DIVORCE.

AS NO CLAIM HAS BEEN RECEIVED FROM THE DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY, MARY E. SANCHEZ, AND IN THE ABSENCE OF A DETERMINATION BY A COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA THAT THE NAME OF THE BENEFICIARY WAS SHOWN IN ERROR AND THAT IT WAS THE CLEAR INTENTION OF THE DECEDENT TO NAME YOU AS BENEFICIARY, WE HAVE NO ALTERNATIVE AT THIS TIME BUT TO WITHHOLD PAYMENT OF SUCH COMPENSATION UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 3, 1950, 5 U.S.C. 61F, PROVIDING FOR THE ORDER OF PRECEDENCE FOR THE PAYMENT OF UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE DECEASED OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT.

THEREFORE, IN THE ABSENCE OF COURT ACTION TO DETERMINE THAT YOU ARE THE BENEFICIARY INTENDED TO BE NAMED BY THE DECEDENT, THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM FOR THE UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE THE DECEDENT WAS PROPER, AND UPON REVIEW THE SETTLEMENT IS SUSTAINED.