B-169560, JUN. 3, 1970

B-169560: Jun 3, 1970

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THE ABOVE DISALLOWANCE WAS BASED ON THE FACT THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF A DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY THE DECEDENT'S SURVIVING WIDOW WAS ENTITLED TO HIS UNPAID COMPENSATION. YOU INDICATE THAT THE PARENTS OF THE DECEDENT SHOULD BE ENTITLED TO THE AMOUNT INVOLVED AS SOLE BENEFICIARIES UNDER HIS WILL BECAUSE OF (1) THE SEPARATION AND PROPERTY AGREEMENT AND (2) THE FACT THAT THE DECEDENT PROBABLY WAS UNAWARE THAT IT WAS NECESSARY FOR HIM TO FILE A DESIGNATION OF HIS PARENTS AS BENEFICIARIES WITH HIS EMPLOYING AGENCY. AS WAS POINTED OUT IN OUR DISALLOWANCE THE PROVISIONS OF 5 U.S.C. 5582 GOVERN THE DISPOSITION OF UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE AN EMPLOYEE AT THE TIME OF DEATH. WE SHALL NOT REPEAT THOSE PROVISIONS SINCE THEY WERE GIVEN IN DETAIL IN THE FOREGOING SETTLEMENT.

B-169560, JUN. 3, 1970

TO MR. JAMES R. WILLIAMS:

YOUR LETTERS OF FEBRUARY 15 AND APRIL 6, 1970, WRITTEN IN BEHALF OF RAYMOND P. AND SADIE A. WILLIAMS, PARENTS OF GEORGE L. WILLIAMS, A DECEASED POSTAL EMPLOYEE, REQUEST RECONSIDERATION OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 11, 1970, DISALLOWING THEIR CLAIM FOR UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE THE DECEDENT AT DATE OF DEATH.

THE ABOVE DISALLOWANCE WAS BASED ON THE FACT THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF A DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY THE DECEDENT'S SURVIVING WIDOW WAS ENTITLED TO HIS UNPAID COMPENSATION. AT THE TIME OF THE DISALLOWANCE THE FILE CONTAINED A COPY OF A PROPERTY SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT WHICH HAD BEEN ENTERED INTO ON MARCH 21, 1969, BETWEEN GEORGE LUTHER WILLIAMS AND NANCY KATHERINE WILLIAMS, IN WHICH THEY AGREED TO LIVE APART FOR THE REST OF THEIR NATURAL LIVES. HOWEVER, SUCH AGREEMENT DID NOT PURPORT IN ANY WAY TO SEVER THEIR LEGAL MARRIAGE.

YOU INDICATE THAT THE PARENTS OF THE DECEDENT SHOULD BE ENTITLED TO THE AMOUNT INVOLVED AS SOLE BENEFICIARIES UNDER HIS WILL BECAUSE OF (1) THE SEPARATION AND PROPERTY AGREEMENT AND (2) THE FACT THAT THE DECEDENT PROBABLY WAS UNAWARE THAT IT WAS NECESSARY FOR HIM TO FILE A DESIGNATION OF HIS PARENTS AS BENEFICIARIES WITH HIS EMPLOYING AGENCY.

AS WAS POINTED OUT IN OUR DISALLOWANCE THE PROVISIONS OF 5 U.S.C. 5582 GOVERN THE DISPOSITION OF UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE AN EMPLOYEE AT THE TIME OF DEATH. WE SHALL NOT REPEAT THOSE PROVISIONS SINCE THEY WERE GIVEN IN DETAIL IN THE FOREGOING SETTLEMENT. WE DO REITERATE THAT THE ORDER OF PRECEDENCE ESTABLISHED THEREBY FOR THE PAYMENT OF SUCH COMPENSATION IS FIRST TO THE BENEFICIARY OR BENEFICIARIES SPECIALLY DESIGNATED (FOR FILING WITH HIS EMPLOYING AGENCY) AND IN THE ABSENCE THEREOF SECONDLY TO THE WIDOW. WE HAVE HELD THAT AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN HUSBAND AND WIFE INCIDENT TO SEPARATION OR OTHERWISE DOES NOT DIVEST THE WIFE (WIDOW) OF HER RIGHT TO ANY COMPENSATION DUE HER HUSBAND AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH IN THE ABSENCE OF THE DESIGNATION OF SOME OTHER PERSON TO RECEIVE SUCH AMOUNT OR AMOUNTS UNDER 5 U.S.C. 5582. SEE B 166528, APRIL 21, 1969, AND B-147358, JANUARY 8, 1962, COPIES ENCLOSED. FURTHERMORE A DESIGNATION BY WILL DOES NOT MEET THE STATUTORY REQUIREMENT THAT SUCH DESIGNATION BE MADE WITH THE EMPLOYING AGENCY. THE LACK OF KNOWLEDGE OF AN EMPLOYEE OF SUCH REQUIREMENT IS IMMATERIAL.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 11, 1970, DISALLOWING THE CLAIM OF RAYMOND P. AND SADIE A. WILLIAMS, PARENTS OF THE DECEDENT, MUST BE SUSTAINED.