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Highlights

The Army forwarded a claim for retirement and Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) payments due the late widow of a deceased retired Army member. The Army advised that the: (1) widow, a legal resident of Kansas, died before receiving the payments to which she was entitled; and (2) widow's daughter filed a claim for the payments after the widow's estate was settled and the executrix discharged. GAO held that Kansas law required the appointment of an administrator to reopen the late widow's estate and claim the payments on behalf of her estate, since the probate court had formally discharged the executrix of her duty. Accordingly, the claim was denied, and the Army should not pay the claim until the probate court appoints an administrator to claim the entitlements and distribute them according to the late widow's will.

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