(a) In the settlement of the accounts of a deceased member of the armed forces, an amount due from the armed force of which he was a member shall be paid to the person highest on the following list living on the date of death:

Terms Used In 10 USC 2771

  • Beneficiary: A person who is entitled to receive the benefits or proceeds of a will, trust, insurance policy, retirement plan, annuity, or other contract. Source: OCC
  • Settlement: Parties to a lawsuit resolve their difference without having a trial. Settlements often involve the payment of compensation by one party in satisfaction of the other party's claims.
  • writing: includes printing and typewriting and reproductions of visual symbols by photographing, multigraphing, mimeographing, manifolding, or otherwise. See

(1) Beneficiary designated by him in writing to receive such an amount, if the designation is received, before the deceased member’s death, at the place named in regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary concerned.

(2) Surviving spouse.

(3) Children and their descendants, by representation.

(4) Father and mother in equal parts or, if either is dead, the survivor.

(5) Legal representative.

(6) Person entitled under the law of the domicile of the deceased member.


(b) Designations and changes of designation of beneficiaries under subsection (a)(1) are subject to regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary concerned. So far as practicable, these regulations shall be uniform for the uniformed services.

(c) Payments under subsection (a) shall be made by the Secretary of Defense.

(d) A payment under this section bars recovery by any other person of the amount paid.