10 U.S. Code § 2771 - Final settlement of accounts: deceased members

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(a) In the settlement of the accounts of a deceased member of the armed forces, an amount due from the armed force of which he was a member shall be paid to the person highest on the following list living on the date of death:
(1) Beneficiary designated by him in writing to receive such an amount, if the designation is received, before the deceased member’s death, at the place named in regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary concerned.
(2) Surviving spouse.
(3) Children and their descendants, by representation.
(4) Father and mother in equal parts or, if either is dead, the survivor.
(5) Legal representative.
(6) Person entitled under the law of the domicile of the deceased member.
(b) Designations and changes of designation of beneficiaries under subsection (a)(1) are subject to regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary concerned. So far as practicable, these regulations shall be uniform for the uniformed services.
(c) Payments under subsection (a) shall be made by the Secretary of Defense.
(d) A payment under this section bars recovery by any other person of the amount paid.

Source

(Aug. 10, 1956, ch. 1041, 70A Stat. 155; Pub. L. 85–861, § 1(56),Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1461; Pub. L. 86–641, July 12, 1960, 74 Stat. 473; Pub. L. 89–718, § 8(a),Nov. 2, 1966, 80 Stat. 1117; Pub. L. 96–513, title V, § 511(97),Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 2928; Pub. L. 103–160, div. A, title XI, § 1182(a)(11),Nov. 30, 1993, 107 Stat. 1771; Pub. L. 104–316, title II, § 202(f),Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3842.)

Historical and Revision Notes 1956 Act
Revised section Source (U.S. Code) Source (Statutes at Large)
2771(a)
2771(b) 10:868 (less proviso).
34:941a (less proviso).
10:868 (proviso).
34:941a (proviso). June 30, 1906, ch. 3914, § 1 (last par. under “State or Territorial Homes for Disabled Soldiers and Sailors”); restated Dec. 7, 1944, ch. 519; restated Feb. 25, 1946, ch. 35, § 4, 60 Stat. 30.
Feb. 25, 1946, ch. 35, § 1, 60 Stat. 30; Aug. 4, 1949, ch. 393, § 18, 63 Stat. 560.

In subsections (a) and (b), the words “General Accounting Office” are substituted for the words “accounting officers”, for clarity.
In subsection (a), the word “member” is substituted for the words “officers or enlisted persons”, in 10:868 and 34:941a. The words “his legal representative” are substituted for the words “a duly appointed legal representative of the estate”, since an estate, being property and not an entity, has no representative. The words “duly appointed” are omitted as surplusage. The words “highest on the following list” are substituted for the words “following order of precedence”, in 10:868 and 34:941a. Clauses (1)–(4) are substituted for the words between the first and second colons of 10:868 and 34:941a. The words “Surviving spouse” are substituted for the words “widow or widower” after the words “First, to”.
In subsection (b), the words “That this section shall not be so construed as to prevent”, “or persons”, and “actually”, in 10:868 and 34:941a, are omitted as surplusage.

1958 Act
Revised section Source (U.S. Code) Source (Statutes at Large)
2771(a)
2771(b)
37:361.
37:362.
37:365.
37:364 (less proviso).
July 12, 1955, ch. 328, §§ 1–3, 4 (less proviso), 5 (first sentence), 69 Stat. 295, 296.
2771(c)
2771(d) 37:363 (less last sentence).
37:363 (last sentence).

In subsection (a), the definition of the term “Department”, in 37:361, is omitted as unnecessary, since the particular departments referred to are spelled out in the revised text. The definition of the term “uniformed services”, in 37:361, is omitted as covered by the word “member” in this revised section and by sections 3 and 4 of the Act enacting this revised section. Clauses (1)–(6) are substituted for the last 5 clauses of 37:362. The words “regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary concerned” are substituted for the words “regulations of the Department concerned”, since the “Department”, as such, cannot issue regulations.
In subsection (a)(2), the words “surviving spouse” are substituted for the words “widow or widower”. As defined in section 101 (32), “spouse” includes a widower.
In subsection (b), the words “are subject to” are substituted for the words “shall be made under”.
In subsection (c), the word “Under” is substituted for the words “Subject to”. The words “rules and” are omitted as surplusage.
Amendments

1996—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 104–316amended subsec. (c) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (c) read as follows: “Under such regulations as the Comptroller General may prescribe, payments under subsection (a) shall be made by the military department concerned or the Department of Transportation, as the case may be. Payment under clause (6) of subsection (a) shall be made—
“(1) upon settlement by the General Accounting Office; or
“(2) as otherwise authorized by the Comptroller General.”
1993—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–160, § 1182(a)(11)(A), struck out “who dies after December 31, 1955” after “armed forces” in introductory provisions.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103–160, § 1182(a)(11)(B), substituted “for the uniformed services” for “for the armed forces, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Public Health Service”.
1980—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 96–513, § 511(97)(A), substituted “National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration” for “Environmental Science Services Administration”.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 96–513, § 511(97)(B), substituted “Department of Transportation” for “Department of the Treasury”.
1966—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 89–718substituted “Environmental Science Services Administration” for “Coast and Geodetic Survey”.
1960—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 86–641substituted provisions requiring payment under clause (6) of subsection (a) to be made upon settlement by the General Accounting Office or as otherwise authorized by the Comptroller General for provisions which permitted payments under clauses (2) to (6) of subsection (a) to be made only after settlement by the General Accounting Office.
1958—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 85–861amended subsec. (a) generally to restrict application of section to members of the armed forces who die after Dec. 31, 1955, and to permit payment to the designated beneficiaries, surviving spouse, children and their descendants, and to parents before payment to the legal representative.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 85–861substituted provisions relating to designations and changes of designation of beneficiaries for provisions which authorized reimbursement of funeral expenses.
Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 85–861added subsecs. (c) and (d).
Effective Date of 1980 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 96–513effective Dec. 12, 1980, see section 701(b)(3) ofPub. L. 96–513, set out as a note under section 101 of this title.
Repeals

The directory language of, but not the amendment made by, Pub. L. 89–718, § 8(a),Nov. 2, 1966, 80 Stat. 1117, cited as a credit to this section, was repealed by Pub. L. 97–295, § 6(b),Oct. 12, 1982, 96 Stat. 1314.
Transfer of Functions

For transfer of functions of Public Health Service, see note set out under section 802 of this title.
Final Settlement of Accounts of Members Who Died Before January 1, 1960

Pub. L. 85–861, § 29,Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1563, authorized the General Accounting Office, in the settlement of the accounts of a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps who died before Jan. 1, 1956, to allow any amount due to the person highest on a list of persons living on the date of settlement and to provide reimbursement for funeral expenses from the amount due the decedent’s estate.
Designation of Beneficiary Made Before January 1, 1956

Pub. L. 85–861, § 31,Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1563, provided that: “The designation of a beneficiary made for the purposes of any six months’ death gratuity, including the designation of a person whose right to the gratuity does not depend upon that designation, and received in the military department concerned, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Commerce, or the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, as the case may be, before January 1, 1956, is considered as the designation of a beneficiary for the purposes of section 2771 of title 10, United States Code [this section], section 714 of title 32, United States Code, and sections 3 and 4 of this Act [amending section 857a of Title 33, and section 213a of Title 42], in the absence of a designation under one of those sections, unless the member making the designation was missing, missing in action, in the hands of a hostile force, or interned in a foreign country any time after July 11, 1955, and before January 1, 1956.”

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32 CFR - National Defense

32 CFR Part 281 - SETTLING PERSONNEL AND GENERAL CLAIMS AND PROCESSING ADVANCE DECISION REQUESTS

32 CFR Part 282 - PROCEDURES FOR SETTLING PERSONNEL AND GENERAL CLAIMS AND PROCESSING ADVANCE DECISION REQUESTS

32 CFR Part 283 - WAIVER OF DEBTS RESULTING FROM ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS OF PAY AND ALLOWANCES

32 CFR Part 284 - WAIVER PROCEDURES FOR DEBTS RESULTING FROM ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS OF PAY AND ALLOWANCES

 

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