B-180105, FEB 5, 1974

B-180105: Feb 5, 1974

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WAS DIVORCED BY FORMER SPOUSE IN 1969. WAS PRESUMED IN 1973 TO HAVE DIED IN 1973. WHO WAS DESIGNATED BY MEMBER. SINCE MEMBER WAS NOT SURVIVED BY EITHER SPOUSE OR CHILD. WAS DIVORCED BY FORMER SPOUSE IN 1969. WAS PRESUMED IN 1973 TO HAVE DIED IN 1973. SINCE FORMER WIFE WAS SPECIFICALLY DESIGNATED UNDER 10 U.S.C. 2771(A) TO RECEIVE 100 PERCENT OF DECEASED MEMBER'S UNPAID PAY AND ALLOWANCES. WAS DIVORCED BY HIS FORMER SPOUSE IN 1969. WAS PRESUMED TO HAVE DIED IN 1973. PAYMENT DUE AT DEATH OF AMOUNT IN MEMBER'S PAY AND ALLOWANCES ACCOUNT DIRECTLY TO MEMBER'S PARENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED UNLESS FORMER WIFE. ARMY FINANCE SUPPORT AGENCY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 26. WHO WAS PRESUMED TO HAVE DIED ON JUNE 5.

B-180105, FEB 5, 1974

RECORD SHOWS THAT MARRIED SERVICE MEMBER HAS BEEN MISSING IN ACTION SINCE 1967, WAS DIVORCED BY FORMER SPOUSE IN 1969, AND WAS PRESUMED IN 1973 TO HAVE DIED IN 1973. FORMER SPOUSE MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED SURVIVING SPOUSE UNDER 10 U.S.C. 1477(A)(2) AND PAYMENT OF DEATH GRATUITY MAY ISSUE IN FAVOR OF MEMBER'S FATHER, WHO WAS DESIGNATED BY MEMBER, SINCE MEMBER WAS NOT SURVIVED BY EITHER SPOUSE OR CHILD. RECORD SHOWS THAT MARRIED SERVICE MEMBER HAS BEEN MISSING IN ACTION SINCE 1967, WAS DIVORCED BY FORMER SPOUSE IN 1969, AND WAS PRESUMED IN 1973 TO HAVE DIED IN 1973. EVEN THOUGH FORMER SPOUSE SIGNED WAIVER OF ANY INTEREST AS "SURVIVING SPOUSE," PAYMENT OF DECEDENT'S UNPAID PAY AND ALLOWANCES AND SOLDIER'S DEPOSITS CANNOT PRESENTLY BE MADE TO ANY OTHER PARTY, SINCE FORMER WIFE WAS SPECIFICALLY DESIGNATED UNDER 10 U.S.C. 2771(A) TO RECEIVE 100 PERCENT OF DECEASED MEMBER'S UNPAID PAY AND ALLOWANCES. RECORD SHOWS THAT SERVICE MEMBER HAS BEEN MISSING IN ACTION SINCE 1967, WAS DIVORCED BY HIS FORMER SPOUSE IN 1969, AND WAS PRESUMED TO HAVE DIED IN 1973. PAYMENT DUE AT DEATH OF AMOUNT IN MEMBER'S PAY AND ALLOWANCES ACCOUNT DIRECTLY TO MEMBER'S PARENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED UNLESS FORMER WIFE, SPECIFICALLY DESIGNATED UNDER 10 U.S.C. 2771(A) TO RECEIVE 100% OF DECEASED MEMBER'S ACCRUED BUT UNPAID PAY AND ALLOWANCES, WAIVES HER INTEREST IN AMOUNT IN QUESTION.

TO U.S. ARMY FINANCE SUPPORT AGENCY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 26, 1973, FROM LIEUTENANT COLONEL A. S. BACEY, FC, CHIEF, CLAIMS DIVISION (REFERENCE FINCS-A T/L #64), ADDRESSED TO OUR TRANSPORTATION AND CLAIMS DIVISION, CONCERNING THE CLAIMS OF MR. SAMUEL E. BEECHER FOR THE SIX MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY AND OF MR. AND MRS. BEECHER FOR THE UNPAID PAY AND ALLOWANCES DUE IN THE CASE OF THEIR LATE SON, CW-3 QUENTIN R. BEECHER, USA, SSAN XXX-XX-XXXX, WHO WAS PRESUMED TO HAVE DIED ON JUNE 5, 1973.

ON THE BASIS OF THE INFORMATION TRANSMITTED HERE, YOU MAY NOW SETTLE MR. BEECHER'S CLAIM FOR THE DEATH GRATUITY IN THE AMOUNT OF $3,000, THE MAXIMUM ALLOWED UNDER THE LAW.

WITH REGARD TO DISPOSITION OF THE DECEASED MEMBER'S UNPAID PAY AND ALLOWANCES, THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE MEMBER DESIGNATED HIS FORMER WIFE, MRS. ANNE B. BEECHER, THE PRESENT MRS. ANNE B. CROOKHAM, TO RECEIVE 100 PERCENT OF HIS UNPAID PAY AND ALLOWANCES DUE UPON HIS DEATH. HOWEVER, IT IS NOTED THAT THE FILE CONTAINS A DOCUMENT SIGNED BY MRS. CROOKHAM WHICH WAIVES HER INTEREST AS "SURVIVING WIDOW". IT IS OUR VIEW THAT SUCH DOCUMENT DOES NOT CLEARLY ESTABLISH MR. AND MRS. BEECHER'S ENTITLEMENT TO RECEIVE THE UNPAID PAY AND ALLOWANCES.

WE HAVE BEEN IN DIRECT COMMUNICATION WITH MR. BEECHER IN THIS MATTER SINCE A QUESTION EXISTS AS TO WHETHER MRS. CROOKHAM INTENDED TO LIMIT WHATEVER INTEREST SHE MAY HAVE AS SURVIVING WIDOW ONLY. IN THIS REGARD, WE HAVE INFORMED MR. BEECHER THAT IN ORDER TO APPROVE PAYMENT OF HIS AND HIS WIFE'S CLAIM FOR THE UNPAID PAY AND ALLOWANCES DUE THEIR LATE SON, IT WOULD BE NECESSARY THAT A MORE COMPREHENSIVE DOCUMENT BE EXECUTED BY MRS. CROOKHAM. MR. BEECHER WAS ALSO INFORMED OF THE LANGUAGE WHICH WE FEEL IS NECESSARY TO GIVE THE GOVERNMENT A GOOD ACQUITTANCE. SEE ENCLOSED COPY OF LETTER OF TODAY TO MR. BEECHER CONCERNING THIS MATTER.

PURSUANT TO OUR INFORMAL UNDERSTANDING WITH MR. BEECHER HE WILL OBTAIN A PERFECTED WAIVER FROM MRS. CROOKHAM IN THE FORM SUGGESTED BY OUR OFFICE AND WILL FORWARD THAT DOCUMENT DIRECTLY TO THE U.S. ARMY FINANCE SUPPORT AGENCY. UPON RECEIPT IN YOUR ACTIVITY, SETTLEMENT MAY ISSUE TO MR. AND MRS. BEECHER FOR THE UNPAID PAY AND ALLOWANCES DUE IN THE DECEASED MEMBER'S CASE, UNDER 10 U.S.C. 2771(A)(4), IF OTHERWISE CORRECT. ON THE OTHER HAND, SHOULD MRS. CROOKHAM CHOOSE NOT TO SIGN THAT DOCUMENT BUT RATHER SUBMIT A CLAIM FOR THE UNPAID PAY AND ALLOWANCES IN QUESTION, THAT CLAIM SHOULD BE SUBMITTED HERE FOR CONSIDERATION.

THE CLAIMS AND SUPPORTING PAPERS TRANSMITTED HERE BY YOUR ACTIVITY ARE RETURNED FOR HANDLING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THESE INSTRUCTIONS.