This case is currently before the Court on Plaintiff-Intervenor Donna Powell-Thomas's Motion for Declaratory Judgment
and Plaintiffs Mary and Ivy Thomas's Motion for Summary Judgment. Upon consideration of these motions, the oppositions thereto, the replies, and the entire record in this case, the Court finds that Plaintiff-Intervenor's motion should be granted and Plaintiffs' motion should be denied.
This case involves a dispute over who is the beneficiary of decedent Gerald C. Thomas's life insurance policy. On August 21, 1989, decedent executed a beneficiary designation form ("Form 1") naming his wife, Plaintiff-Intervenor Donna Powell-Thomas, as the sole beneficiary of this Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance ("FEGLI") policy. On April 7, 1993, he executed another such form ("Form 2"), again naming Powell-Thomas as the sole beneficiary of his FEGLI policy. On October 13, 1993, decedent completed yet another form ("Form 3"),
this time naming Plaintiffs Mary and Ivy Thomas as the beneficiaries of 35% and 65%, respectively, of the policy. Decedent filled out Form 3 by hand, printing his name, address, and date of execution. He also checked a box preceding the statement "I have signed this form in the presence of two witnesses who have signed below." The form was duly signed by two witnesses. However, the box marked "Signature of Insured" was left blank.
The Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance Act ("FEGLIA") provides that a life insurance policy shall be paid "to the person or persons surviving at the date of [the decedent's] death, in the following order of preference":
First, to the beneficiary or beneficiaries designated by the employee in a signed and witnessed writing received before death in the employing office . . . . For this purpose, a designation, change or cancellation of beneficiary in a will of other document not so executed and filed has no force or effect.