B-151052, APR. 10, 1963

B-151052: Apr 10, 1963

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THIS CHECK WAS ISSUED BY THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION TO THE ORDER OF ORRIS H. MCCULLOR WHO WAS YOUR HUSBAND. THAT THE CHECK IN QUESTION WAS ISSUED SEPTEMBER 3. WAS SUBSEQUENTLY RETURNED BY YOU. THE FILE ALSO CONTAINS A STATEMENT WHICH INDICATES THAT YOUR SON WAS DESIGNATED AS EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF YOUR HUSBAND. PROVIDES THAT FEDERAL OLD-AGE AND SURVIVORS' INSURANCE PAYMENTS ARE PAYABLE ENDING WITH THE MONTH PRIOR TO THE MONTH OF THE PAYEE'S DEATH. 158 WAS DUE AND PAYBLE AT THE TIME OF MR. THE PROCEEDS OF SUCH CHECKS HAVE BEEN HELD TO BE ASSETS OF THE DECEDENT'S ESTATE. - HELD THAT SUCH CHECKS "ARE FREELY TRANSFERABLE BY HIM. SINCE WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED BY YOU THAT THERE IS IN EXISTENCE AN EXECUTOR OF YOUR LATE HUSBAND'S ESTATE.

B-151052, APR. 10, 1963

TO MRS. ISABELLA M. MCCULLOR:

YOUR LETTER, POSTMARKED MARCH 1, 1963, REQUESTS FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM FOR THE PROCEEDS OF CHECK NO. 23,780,158, DATED SEPTEMBER 3, 1962. THIS CHECK WAS ISSUED BY THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION TO THE ORDER OF ORRIS H. MCCULLOR, NOW DECEASED.

THE INFORMATION OF RECORD IN OUR OFFICE SHOWS THAT MR. ORRIS H. MCCULLOR WHO WAS YOUR HUSBAND, DIED ON SEPTEMBER 8, 1962; THAT THE CHECK IN QUESTION WAS ISSUED SEPTEMBER 3, 1962, AND WAS SUBSEQUENTLY RETURNED BY YOU, UNCASHED, TO THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION. THE FILE ALSO CONTAINS A STATEMENT WHICH INDICATES THAT YOUR SON WAS DESIGNATED AS EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF YOUR HUSBAND.

SECTION 402 (A) OF TITLE 42 U.S. CODE, PROVIDES THAT FEDERAL OLD-AGE AND SURVIVORS' INSURANCE PAYMENTS ARE PAYABLE ENDING WITH THE MONTH PRIOR TO THE MONTH OF THE PAYEE'S DEATH. THE PAYMENT REPRESENTED BY CHECK NO. 23,780,158 WAS DUE AND PAYBLE AT THE TIME OF MR. MCCULLOR'S DEATH. THE PROCEEDS OF SUCH CHECKS HAVE BEEN HELD TO BE ASSETS OF THE DECEDENT'S ESTATE. SEE BEARS V. FEDERAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATOR, 172 F.2D 34 (1949), WHERE THE COURT--- IN CONSIDERING THE STATUS OF UNNEGOTIATED SOCIAL SECURITY CHECKS OF DECEDENTS--- HELD THAT SUCH CHECKS "ARE FREELY TRANSFERABLE BY HIM, AND ON HIS DEATH PASS BY OPERATION OF LAW TO HIS EXECUTOR OR ADMINISTRATOR.' SEE ALSO, GARDNER V. EWING, 88 F.SUPP. 315 (1950).

SINCE WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED BY YOU THAT THERE IS IN EXISTENCE AN EXECUTOR OF YOUR LATE HUSBAND'S ESTATE, WE CANNOT LEGALLY MAKE PAYMENT OF THE PROCEEDS OF THE INVOLVED CHECK TO ANY OTHER PERSON. IT APPEARS THAT YOUR CLAIM IS AGAINST YOUR HUSBAND'S ESTATE RATHER THAN AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT.

PERHAPS YOU SHOULD ADVISE YOUR SON OF THE CONTENTS OF THIS LETTER BECAUSE UNDER THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF YOUR HUSBAND'S DOMICILE, YOU MAY HAVE A PREFERRED CLAIM AGAINST THE ESTATE.