B-171392, JAN 15, 1971

B-171392: Jan 15, 1971

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

IT IS CLEAR THAT NO TRUST WAS OR COULD BE VALIDLY CREATED BY THE LANGUAGE USED IN THE ABSENCE OF OTHER DISCRIPTIVE LANGUAGE. DARLING WAS NAMED AS BENEFICIARY. MUIRHEID: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 12. SARTELL MEANT BY "IN - TRUST" HAVE BEEN UNSUCCESSFUL AND THAT YOU BELIEVE THAT THE CHECK SHOULD BE ISSUED TO LOIS A. EACH EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO DESIGNATE A BENEFICIARY TO RECEIVE MONEY DUE UPON SUCH EMPLOYEE'S DEATH. SARTELL PURSUANT TO THE ABOVE STATUTORY PROVISION DESIGNATED THAT PAYMENT WAS TO BE MADE TO LOIS A. THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF A TRUST ARE A DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY. THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT MRS. IT IS EQUALLY CLEAR THAT NO TRUST WAS OR COULD BE VALIDLY CREATED BY THE LANGUAGE USED IN THE ABSENCE OF OTHER DESCRIPTIVE LANGUAGE.

B-171392, JAN 15, 1971

DECEDENTS' ESTATES - UNPAID COMPENSATION CONCERNING THE CLAIM OF LOIS A. DARLING, AS BENEFICIARY, TO RECEIVE UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE MRS. KATE I. SARTELL, CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEFENSE SUPPLY AGENCY. WHERE MRS. SARTELL PROCESSED "STANDARD FORM 1152, DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARY" NAMING CLAIMANT AS BENEFICIARY, AND UNDER THAT PART OF THE FORM WHICH INDICATED THE SHARE A BENEFICIARY WOULD TAKE, SHE INDICATED, "ALL-IN TRUST", IT IS CLEAR THAT NO TRUST WAS OR COULD BE VALIDLY CREATED BY THE LANGUAGE USED IN THE ABSENCE OF OTHER DISCRIPTIVE LANGUAGE, AND THAT LOIS A. DARLING WAS NAMED AS BENEFICIARY. THEREFORE, A CHECK SHOULD BE ISSUED TO CLAIMANT WITHOUT ANY QUALIFYING LANGUAGE AND THIS WOULD BE ADEQUATE TO DISCHARGE THE GOVERNMENT'S RESPONSIBILITY.

TO MR. C. R. MUIRHEID:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 12, 1970 (DESC-CA), WITH ENCLOSURES, FORWARDED HERE ON NOVEMBER 25, 1970, BY YOUR HEADQUARTERS OFFICE, REQUESTING OUR ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE MANNER OF PAYMENT OF THE UNPAID COMPENSATION OF A DECEASED CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCE HEREINAFTER RELATED.

IT APPEARS THAT MRS. KATE I. SARTELL, A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE, PROCESSED "STANDARD FORM 1152, DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARY," NAMING LOIS A. DARLING AS BENEFICIARY TO RECEIVE UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE MRS. SARTELL AT TIME OF DEATH. UNDER THAT PART OF THE FORM WHICH INDICATED THE SHARE A BENEFICIARY OR BENEFICIARIES WOULD TAKE MRS. SARTELL TYPED IN THE WORDS "ALL - IN TRUST." MRS. SARTELL DIED SEPTEMBER 9, 1970, AND LOIS A. DARLING SUBSEQUENTLY EXECUTED AND FILED "STANDARD FORM 1153, CLAIM OF BENEFICIARY AND/OR SURVIVING SPOUSE FOR UNPAID COMPENSATION OF DECEASED CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE." YOU SAY THAT EFFORTS ON YOUR PART TO DETERMINE WHAT MRS. SARTELL MEANT BY "IN - TRUST" HAVE BEEN UNSUCCESSFUL AND THAT YOU BELIEVE THAT THE CHECK SHOULD BE ISSUED TO LOIS A. DARLING AND THAT THIS WOULD ADEQUATELY DISCHARGE THE GOVERNMENT'S RESPONSIBILITY. IF WE AGREE, YOU REQUEST INFORMATION AS TO HOW THE CHECK SHOULD BE WRITTEN.

UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF TITLE 5, SECTION 5582 OF THE U.S.C. EACH EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO DESIGNATE A BENEFICIARY TO RECEIVE MONEY DUE UPON SUCH EMPLOYEE'S DEATH. ALSO, THAT SECTION STATES THAT MONEY DUE AN EMPLOYEE AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH SHALL BE PAID FIRST TO THE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATED BY THE EMPLOYEE AND IF NONE THEN TO CERTAIN OTHER SPECIFIED INDIVIDUALS.

AS PREVIOUSLY INDICATED, MRS. SARTELL PURSUANT TO THE ABOVE STATUTORY PROVISION DESIGNATED THAT PAYMENT WAS TO BE MADE TO LOIS A. DARLING AS BENEFICIARY WITH THE MONEY TO BE PAID "ALL - IN TRUST." THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF A TRUST ARE A DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY, A TRUSTEE, A FUND SUFFICIENTLY IDENTIFIED TO ENABLE TITLE TO THE FUND TO PASS TO SUCH TRUSTEE, AND ACTUAL DELIVERY TO THE TRUSTEE WITH THE INTENTION OF PASSING TITLE. CITY BANK FARMER'S TRUST CO. V CHARITY ORGANIZATION SOCIETY OF NEW YORK, 265 N.Y.S. 267 (1933).

THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT MRS. SARTELL DESIGNATED LOIS A. DARLING AS BENEFICIARY. IT IS EQUALLY CLEAR THAT NO TRUST WAS OR COULD BE VALIDLY CREATED BY THE LANGUAGE USED IN THE ABSENCE OF OTHER DESCRIPTIVE LANGUAGE. FURTHERMORE THERE IS NO EVIDENCE BEFORE THIS OFFICE THAT THE DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY IS EITHER A MINOR OR INCOMPETENT.

ACCORDINGLY ON THE PRESENT RECORD WE CONCLUDE, IN AGREEMENT WITH YOU, THAT THE CHECK SHOULD BE ISSUED TO LOIS A. DARLING WITHOUT ANY QUALIFYING LANGUAGE AND THAT THIS WOULD BE ADEQUATE TO DISCHARGE THE GOVERNMENT'S RESPONSIBILITY. THE VOUCHER, WITH ACCOMPANYING PAPERS, IS RETURNED HEREWITH AND MAY BE PAID AS PROPOSED, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.