32 CFR 716.4 - Eligible survivors.
(a) The death gratuity shall be paid to or for the living survivor or survivors of the deceased member first listed below:
(1) The lawful spouse. (For purpose of this part, a man or woman shall be considered to be the spouse if legally married to the member at the time of the member's death.)
(2) His children (without regard to their age or marital status) in equal shares.
(3) Parent(s), brother(s) or sister(s) or any combination of them, when designated by the deceased member.
(4) Undesignated parents in equal shares.
(5) Undesignated brothers and sisters in equal shares. In paragraphs (a)(2), (3) and (4), respectively, of this section, the terms “child” and “parent” have the meanings assigned to them by title 10 U.S.C. section 1477 and the term “parents” includes persons in loco parentis as indicated by that section. The terms “brother” and “sister” in paragraphs (a) (3) and (5) of this section include brothers and sisters of the half blood and those through adoption.
(b) Designation of payee by service member. Where the service member has designated a beneficiary and is not survived by a spouse, child, or children, the payment will be made to the specific person designated by him provided the designee falls within the class of beneficiaries permitted as set forth in paragraph (a)(3) of this section. If more than one person is so designated on the Record of Emergency, payment will be made in equal shares unless the member designated a proportionate share to each beneficiary. Frivolous designations, such as one per centum to a particular beneficiary, should not be made.
(c) Death of survivor prior to receipt of gratuity.
(1) If a survivor dies before receiving payment, or if a designated beneficiary predeceases the member (and there is no other designated beneficiary) such amount shall be paid to the then living survivor or survivors listed first under paragraph (a) of this section.
(2) In case one of the beneficiaries (parents or brothers or sisters) designated by a member, pursuant to paragraph (a)(3) of this section, to receive death gratuity payment dies prior to the member's death, or after his death but prior to the time payment is made, the share which would have been paid to the deceased designee may be paid to the other person or persons designated.