46 U.S. Code § 10709. Distribution

(a)
(1) If the money, property, and wages of a seaman, including proceeds from the sale of property, are not more than $1,500 in value, the court, subject to deductions it allows for expenses and at least 60 days after receiving the money, property, and wages, may deliver the money, property, and wages to a claimant proving to be—
(A)
the seaman’s surviving spouse or child;
(B)
entitled to the money, property, and wages under the seaman’s will or under a law or at common law; or
(C)
entitled to secure probate, or take out letters of administration, although no probate or letters of administration have been issued.
(2)
The court is released from further liability for the money, property, and wages distributed under paragraph (1) of this subsection.
(3)
Instead of acting under paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection, the court may require probate or letters of administration to be taken out, and then deliver the money, property, and wages to the legal representative of the seaman.
(b)
If the money, property, and wages are more than $1,500 in value, the court, subject to deductions for expenses, shall deliver the money, property, and wages to the legal representative of the seaman.

Historical and Revision Notes

Revised section

Source section (U.S. Code)

10709

46:627

Section 10709 instructs a district court to deliver a deceased seaman’s property and wages to the proper claimant or legal representative. It also discharges the court from liability.

Amendments

1986—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 99–307, in text preceding cl. (A), substituted “than $1,500 in value, the court,” for “then $1,500 in value, and” and “wages, may” for “wages, the court may”.