Baumet v. United States
344 U.S. 82 (1952)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Baumet v. United States, 344 U.S. 82 (1952)

Baumet v. United States

No. 39

Argued October 15, 1952

Decided November 17, 1952

344 U.S. 82

Syllabus

At the time of the death in 1942 of a serviceman insured under the National Service Life Insurance Act of 1940, his policy designated an uncle as sole beneficiary. The insured's natural father instituted an action to claim the proceeds. The uncle died while that action was pending. The District Court found that the uncle and the uncle's wife had stood in loco parentis to the insured from 1938 until the death of the insured, and that, long before the insured's death, his natural father had abandoned him.

Held:

1. An award to the deceased uncle's personal representative cannot be sustained. United States v. Henning, ante p. 344 U. S. 66. Pp. 344 U. S. 83-84.

2. Since the natural father had abandoned his son, and thus ceased to be a parent in truth and fact, he is not a parent "who last bore that relationship" within the meaning of § 602(h)(3)(C), and therefore may not claim the proceeds. Pp. 344 U. S. 84-85.

3. The insured's foster mother (the uncle's wife), as the sole survivor of those who "last bore" the parental relationship to the insured, was entitled in her own right to all the accrued policy proceeds. P. 344 U. S. 85.

191 F.2d 194 reversed.

In an action to determine the beneficiary under a policy of National Service Life Insurance, the District Court made an award of part of the proceeds to the personal representative of a deceased beneficiary. The Court of Appeals affirmed. 191 F.2d 194. This Court granted certiorari. 343 U.S. 925. Reversed, p. 344 U. S. 85.

Page 344 U. S. 83

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