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Page Title: Designated Beneficiaries
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Child or Children If the decedent is survived by a child or children, but no spouse, the death gratuity will be paid to the child or  children. GENERAL  ELIGIBILITY  CRITERIA.—  An eligible child can be a legitimate child; a legally adopted child; a stepchild, if the child was a member of the decedent’s   household;   or   an   illegitimate   child. Generally,   you   can   use   any   of   the   following documentation to establish a child’s eligibility status: Documentary  evidence  showing  termination  of any marriage, including a certified copy of the spouse’s  death  certificate,  divorce,  or  annulment decree    Entitlement to BAQ for a child or children, or evidence  of  occupation  of  government  quarters with the member before the member’s death Documentary   proof   of   the   relationship, including the original or certified copy of the original birth certificate or a certified court order of  adoption    A certified copy of the appointment paper if a guardian of a minor child, or children, has been appointed  by  a  court  (as  distinguished  from being awarded physical custody) ILLEGITIMATE  CHILD.—  In the case of an illegitimate   child,   the   child’s   eligibility   must   be confirmed  by  evidence  provided  by  or  associated  with the  deceased  service  member.  When  the  deceased service member is the child’s father, you can use any of the following documentation to establish the child’s eligibility:       A statement, written and signed by the member, acknowledging  and  identifying  the  child  as  his own     Evidence that the member was judicially ordered to contribute to the child’s support or was before his  death  judicially  or  otherwise  shown  by satisfactory evidence to be the father of the child When  the  deceased  member  is  the  mother,  the child’s   eligibility   can   be   established   by   a   birth certificate  or  other  satisfactory  evidence  that  the member was the mother of the child. STEPCHILD.—   The  relationship  between  a member and a stepchild may survive the end of the marriage from which it arose if close family ties have continued. If  such  a  relationship  ended  by  the member’s  death,  the  relationship  continues  in  the absence of evidence to the contrary. If the marriage ended by divorce (as distinguished from death), the relationship ends unless clear and convincing evidence is furnished showing continuance of close family ties and the intention to continue the prior relationship. Designated  Beneficiaries If the decedent is not survived by a spouse or child and has officially designated a father, mother, brother, or  sister  to  receive  the  death  gratuity,  no  further evidence is necessary. This is true except in cases of in loco parentis. The DOD defines  in loco parentis  as a person who stood in place of a parent to the service member 24 hours a day for a period of at least 5 years before the service member became 21 years old or entered military service. The beneficiary,  however,  must  furnish  the  following documentation: Documentary   evidence   that   any   marriage entered  into  by  the  decedent  has  been  terminated. A statement, witnessed by two individuals, that there are no living children. For in loco parentis cases, entitlement to BAQ for that person is sufficient  evidence.  If  this  relationship  has  not been  established,  DFAS—CL  will  make  the determination. DETERMINATIONS  AFFECTING ENTITLEMENT Several  determinations  place  additional  restrictions on the payment of a death gratuity. Death as Lawful Punishment Death  gratuity  is  not  payable  in  the  case  of  a member  whose  death  is  the  result  of  a  lawful punishment for a crime or military offense. This does not apply when the death is inflicted by any hostile force with which the armed forces of the United States had engaged in armed conflict. Member Killed by Beneficiary Death gratuity is not payable to a beneficial or survivor who kills a member, unless there is evidence that clearly absolves such beneficiary or survivor of any felonious  intent. 9-10

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