View all text of Subjgrp 157 [§ 12.0 - § 12.13]

§ 12.9 - Rights of designate; sales instruction; transportation charges.

(a) Upon death of a veteran admitted as such to a field facility, the Manager or his or her designated representative will cause notice (parts I and V of VA Form 10-1171) to be sent to the designate: Provided, however, That if the Manager or his or her designated representative has information of the death of the primary designate, notice shall be sent to the alternate designate and all of the provisions of the regulations in this part respecting the designate will be deemed to apply to the alternate. If the designate is a minor or a person known to be incompetent, delivery of the funds or effects will be made only to the designate's guardian or custodian upon qualification. The right of the designate to receive possession ceases when he or she refuses to accept delivery or if he or she fails to respond within 90 days after VA Form 10-1171 was mailed. When the right of a designate ceases, VA Form 10-1171 will be forwarded immediately to the alternate designate, whose rights then become identical with those forfeited by the first designate, and the rights of the alternate designate shall terminate at the expiration of 90 days after VA Form 10-1171 was mailed to him or her. Delivery will not be made to a designate until he or she submits a signed statement to the effect that he or she understands that the delivery of such funds and effects constitutes a delivery of possession only and that such delivery is not intended to affect in any manner the title thereto. Such notice shall fully identify the decedent and state the fact that he or she designated the addressee to receive possession of such property; that the right to receive possession thereof does not affect the ownership but that the designate will be responsible for the ultimate disposition thereof to those who, under applicable law, are entitled to the decedent's property; and will request prompt advice as to whether the designate will accept such property and that, if he or she will, he or she furnish shipping instructions, upon receipt of which the property will be shipped at the expense of the Government. However, prior to dispatching such notice, it will be definitely determined that the shipping expense will not exceed $25. If such expense will exceed $25, the excess cost will be ascertained, and the notice will include a statement of the amount of such excess shipping cost with request that the amount thereof be remitted at the time shipping instructions are furnished. In estimating the shipping expense, it will be assumed that shipment to the designate will be to the same address as that to which the notice is sent. Each notice, however, shall contain a statement that in no event will the Government pay shipping expense in excess of $25. The notice will include a copy of the inventory of the property which it is proposed to deliver to the designate.

(b) Upon receipt of appropriate shipping instructions the property will be shipped, transportation charges prepaid, by mail, express, or freight as may be appropriate under the circumstances and most economical to the Government. The expense of such shipment, chargeable to the Government, in no case to exceed $25.00, is payable the same as other administrative expenses of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

(c) The living owner of any property left or found at a field facility will be promptly notified thereof. Except as provided in § 12.6(a), transportation charges on property shipped to a living veteran will not be paid by the Government. In such cases, shipment shall be made as requested by the owner of the property (or his or her guardian) upon receipt of necessary transportation charges, which will be prepaid, unless the owner requests shipment with charges collect and the carrier will accept such shipment without liability for such charges, contingent or otherwise, upon the Government.

(d) If the designate refuses or, upon the lapse of 90 days, has failed to take possession or request shipment of decedent's property (paragraph (a) of this section), or if 90 days have elapsed after the finding of any property and the owner (known or unknown) has failed to request same, the manager or his or her designated representative will authorize destruction, use or sale.

(e) If sale of the property is authorized the manager will take necessary action to ascertain the names and addresses, of the owners; or, in the event of the owner's decease, of his or her executor or administrator, widow, child, grandchild, mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, brother, or sister.

(f) When in possession of the necessary information the manager will cause proper notice of sale (Form 4-1171) to be mailed. Such notice in all cases shall disclose the identity, if known, of the decedent whose property is to be sold and contain a copy of the inventory of such property. A copy of such notice (Form 4-1171), after parts I, IV, and V thereof are completed, shall be mailed to the owner, if known, or if deceased to the decedent's executor or administrator, if known, and also to the widow (or widower), child, grandchild, mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, brother and sister, if known. If more than one relative of the degree named is known, copy will be mailed to each. If the owner is living, parts IV and V only of Form 4-1171 will be completed.

(g) Copy of such notice (Form 4-1171, parts IV and V) will also be posted by a responsible employee more than 21 years of age at:

(1) The field facility where the death occurred or property shall have been found,

(2) The place where property is situated at the time such notice is posted, and

(3) The place where probate notices are posted in the county wherein the sale is to be had.

(h) In addition to showing the name of the owner, if known (alive or deceased), and the inventory of the property to be sold, such notice shall state the hour and day when and the precise place where the sale will occur and that the same will be at public auction for cash upon delivery without warranty, express or implied, and that such sale is pursuant to the act of June 25, 1938 (38 U.S.C. 16-16j); and shall also state that any person legally entitled to said property may claim the same at any time prior to sale thereof and in the event of such claim by a proper person the property will not be sold but will be delivered to the person lawfully entitled thereto. Said notice shall also contain a statement substantially to the effect that if sold the net proceeds of sale may be claimed by the person who is legally entitled at any time within 5 years after the date of notice; or in case of property the ownership of which was not originally known, within 5 years after its finding; otherwise such proceeds will be retained in the General Post Fund, subject to disbursement for the purposes of such fund.

(i) The person (or persons) posting said notice of sale (Form 4-1171) shall make appropriate affidavit on a copy thereof as to his or her action in that respect and the manager or his or her designated representative will also certify on the same copy as to the persons to whom copies of such notice were mailed and the mailing dates. The copy on which appear the affidavit and certificate as to service of the notice will be retained in the facility file pertaining to the disposition of such property.

[13 FR 7129, Nov. 27, 1948, as amended at 15 FR 663, Feb. 7, 1950; 23 FR 5, Jan. 1, 1958]