Sec. 602(n) of the National Service Life Insurance Act of 1940, as amended. Waivers of premiums on the total amount of $ 10,000 were granted, effective as on May 1, 1945. In a subsequent decision rendered by the Veterans Administration on June 9, 1947, it was determined that the insured had recovered the ability to follow substantially gainful occupation, and on June 11, 1947 he was notified of the discontinuance of the waivers effective as of June 30, 1947, and informed of the necessity of resuming premium payments effective as of July 1, 1947. The insured died on July 3, 1947, on which date insurance in the total amount of $ 10,000 was in force.
On August 19, 1946 H. H. Milks, Director, Disability Insurance Claims, Service of the United States Veterans Administration, advised the insured that a decision had been rendered holding that he was totally disabled and entitled to waiver of payment of premiums from May 1, 1945 on his National Service Life Insurance in the amount of $ 10,000.
On February 27, 1947 the insured wrote a letter to H. H. Milks, Director, Disability Insurance Claims Service of the Veterans Administration, referring to the aforementioned letter of August 19, 1946 and asked that this matter be expedited. On June 17, 1947 the insured addressed another letter to H. H. Milks, stated that he felt a period of ten months was sufficient time to allow the payment of the refunded payment to him and inquired as to the cause of this delay.
The plaintiff, Ruth Glenn Sights, has heretofore been awarded the proceeds of $ 2,000 of said insurance by the Veterans Administration, and the latter has paid plaintiff monthly installments thereunder in the sum of $ 924.18.
In the case of United States v. Oliver, 9 Cir., 59 F.2d 55, 56, the Court said: 'The cancellation of all previous designations left the estate of the insured the beneficiary. The policy was a contract between the government and the insured, and the mother's and sister's interest vested only and was predicated upon the conditions existing between the government and the insured. insured. The expressed stipulation of the cancellation must control; and any interest of the mother and sister rests in the estate, and vested by descent under state law. It is so stated, but not decided because not before the court, in United States v. Mallery, 2 Cir., 48 F.2d 6.'
In the case of Cohn v. Cohn, 84 U.S.App.D.C. 218, 171 F.2d 828, 830, the Court stated, with reference to making a change of beneficiary: 'The reasonable and, in our view, necessary proof is a writing * * * '.
In Farmakis v. Farmakis, 84 U.S.App.D.C. 297, 172 F.2d 291, 292, the Court said: 'We recently discussed, in Cohn v. Cohn (1948, 84 U.S.App.D.C. 218, 171 F.2d 828) the change of beneficiaries on Government Life Insurance policies. We there held that a writing is the minimum requisite to a change in the beneficiary named on such a policy, and that the regulation of the Veterans Administration to that effect is valid; but that, on account of the circumstances under which men in the service under war conditions must transact their affairs, we agreed with the decisions of other courts that the form of the writing is immaterial. We adhere to the view there expressed, including our admonition as to the proof by means of which such writings must be established and their meaning ascertained.'
In Coleman v. United States, D.C. Cir., 176 F.2d 469, 471, the Court said: 'In order to establish the fact that there has been a change of beneficiary, there must be evidence of an intention of the insured to change the beneficiary followed by some affirmative act of the insured having for its purpose the carrying into effect of such intention.'
As of August 16, 1944 Edna Belle Sights, mother of the insured, was the principal beneficiary. When the insured married he advised the Veterans Administration on October 12, 1945, that he had married and wanted to drop all but $ 2,000 of his insurance and wanted 'these payments' to be paid to his wife, Ruth Glenn Sights, in case of his death, as he wanted her to be the beneficiary. It is evident that this letter expressed his intention of making his wife the principal beneficiary of 'these payments', and also that he was making a change in the amount of his insurance. When he changed the amount of his insurance, in using Form 336, he stated that he cancelled all previous designations of beneficiaries and directed that his insurance in the amount of $ 2,000 be paid from and after his death to his wife, as principal beneficiary, and to his mother as contingent beneficiary.
Later when he was informed that the Veterans Administration considered him totally disabled and waived the premiums on $ 10,000 of insurance as of May 1, 1945, he did nothing to indicate whom he desired as his beneficiary for the remaining $ 8,000. He was fully aware that his wife was beneficiary of $ 2,000 of the insurance, and if he had desired her to be beneficiary of the remainder he could have so designated. He had already cancelled a previous designation of his mother as principal beneficiary and he did nothing to indicate that he desired his mother to be the principal beneficiary of the remaining $ 8,000.
The execution of Form 336 on December 20, 1945 cancelled the designation of the beneficiary in favor of the mother, and the insured having failed to designate either his wife or his mother as principal beneficiary for the remaining $ 8,000 of his National Service Life Insurance, it follows that the remaining $ 8,000 is payable to the estate of the insured, under the provisions of Title 38 U.S.C.A. § 802(u) of the Insurance Act of 1946, which provides:
' * * * and in any case in which no beneficiary is designated by the insured, or the designated beneficiary does not survive the insured, or a designated beneficiary not entitled to a lump-sum settlement survives the insured, and dies before receiving all the benefits due and payable, the commuted value of the remaining unpaid insurance * * * shall be paid in one sum to the estate of the insured: * * * '
Judgment in the amount of $ 8,000 will be entered in favor of Andrew Parker Sights, Administrator of the Estate of James A. Sights, Jr., deceased. The findings of fact and conclusions of law having been stated in this opinion, no formal findings and conclusions will be necessary. Counsel for the Administrator will prepare the proper order not inconsistent with this opinion.
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