B-180916, AUG 27, 1974, 54 COMP GEN 152

B-180916: Aug 27, 1974

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PARENT - EFFECT OF WIFE'S SEPARATION AGREEMENT WHEN A MEMBER AND HIS WIFE WERE SEPARATED AND AN AGREEMENT WAS EXECUTED BY THEM PRIOR TO THE TIME THE MEMBER ENTERED THE AIR FORCE WHEREBY THE WIFE WAIVED ALL RIGHTS AND OTHER BENEFITS TO WHICH SHE MAY BE ENTITLED AS A RESULT OF THE MEMBER'S POSSIBLE FUTURE MILITARY SERVICE AND THE MEMBER DESIGNATED HIS MOTHER TO RECEIVE THE SIX MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY IN THE EVENT THERE WAS NO SURVIVING SPOUSE. THE MOTHER'S CLAIM WAS PROPERLY DISALLOWED BECAUSE 10 U.S.C. 1447(A) PROVIDES THAT THE SURVIVING SPOUSE SHALL BE PAID THE GRATUITY AND A SIMPLE WAIVER OF AN UNKNOWN FUTURE RIGHT DOES NOT AFFORD A LEGAL BASIS FOR PAYMENT OF THE GRATUITY DUE FROM THE UNITED STATES TO SOMEONE OTHER THAN THE LAWFULLY DESIGNATED RECIPIENT.