32 CFR 716.11 - Procedures.
(a) Action. Commanding officers will direct immediate payment of the gratuity where the deceased member's spouse was, in fact, residing with the member on or near the station of duty at the time of the member's death while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive-duty training. Every effort should be made to effect such payment promptly (within 24 hours, if possible). In cases where the eligible survivor residing with the member on or near the duty station is other than a spouse, commanding officers may direct the payment of death gratuity when the case can be properly determined, and an urgent need exists for immediate payment. Proper determination is imperative.
(1) Where any doubt exists as to the legal recipient of the gratuity, the case will be referred to the Commandant of the Marine Corps (Code MSPA-1) for determination.