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the member could not transfer the or the death of the one designated becertificate without the wife's con- fore the death of the member, the sent.

fund will go to the member's heirs The brothers and sisters and neph- upon his death. ews and nieces not living with or United States. Smith v. Covenant supported by the assured are not legal

Mut. Ben. Asso. (1885) 24 Fed. 685. dependents within the meaning of a Illinois.-Covenant Mut. Ben. Asso. certificate of membership making the v. Sears (1885) 114 Ill. 113, 29 N. E. proceeds payable to such dependents,

480; Baldwin v. Begley (1900) 185 and the proceeds of the certificate Ill. 180, 56 N. E. 1065; Supreme are assets in the hands of the insured's Lodge, K. L. H. v. Menkhausen (1904) administrator. Little Caldwell

209 Ill. 277, 65 L.R.A. 508, 101 Am. (1912) 158 N. C. 351, 39 L.R.A.(N.S.) St. Rep. 239, 70 N. E. 567; Sanders 450, 74 S. E. 10.

v. Grand Lodge, A. 0. U. W. (1910) The provisions of the constitution

153 Ill. App. 7, affirmed in (1910) 246 of a benefit fraternity that no benefi- Ill. 555, 99 N. E. 962; Women's ciary shall have a vested interest in Catholic Order of Foresters v. Hefthe benefit certificate until it has ma- fernan (1917) 206 Ill. App. 70. tured upon the death of the member, Iowa. Newman v. Covenant Mut. and of a subsequent clause that “if Ins. Asso. (1888) 76 Iowa, 56, 1 L.R.A. a single cash payment has been

659, 14 Am. St. Rep. 196, 40 N. W. 87; specified in the certificate, the said Bush v. Modern Woodmen (1915) 182 sum shall be paid to the beneficiary, Iowa, 515, 152 N. W. 31, 162 N. W. 59. or her executors or administrators," Kentucky. Hess V. Segenfelter must be construed together, and, (Morgan v. Segenfelter) (1907) 127 when so construed, mean that the

Ky. 348, 14 L.R.A.(N.S.) 1172, 128 member may change the designation Am. St. Rep. 343, 105 S. W. 476. at any time before his death, but upon Massachusetts. Sargent v. Suhis death the money shall be paid to preme Lodge, K. H. (1893) 158 Mass. the beneficiary or her personal repre- 557, 33 N. E. 650; Shea v. Massasentative, so that where the bene- chusetts Benev. Asso. (1894) 160 ficiary named in the certificate prede- Mass. 289, 39 Am. St. Rep. 475, 35 ceases the member, the administrator N. E. 855; Clarke v. Schwarzenberg of the beneficiary is, upon the death (1894) 162 Mass. 98, 32 N. E. 7; of the member, in the absence of an- Boyden v. Massachusetts Masonic L. other designation, entitled to the ,

Ins. Co. (1897) 167 Mass. 242, 45 benefit. Jennings v. Grand Frater- N. E. 735. nity (1917) 67 Pa. Super. Ct. 139.

Michigan. - Michigan Mut. Ben. But it has been held that the ad

Asso. v. Rolfe (1889) 76 Mich. 146, 42 ministrator of a deceased member of

N. W. 1094; Wolfe v. District Grand a fraternal beneficiary organization

Lodge, I. O. B. B. (1894) 102 Mich. has no claim to the benefit fund

23, 60 N. W. 445. due on a certificate of membership,

Minnesota. Devaney v. Ancient where no beneficiary was named, by virtue of any vested interest which

Order, H. L. I. F. (1913) 122 Minn. the member had in the fund at the

221, 142 N. W. 316; Sharpless v. time of his death, for the member had

Grand Lodge, A. O. U. W. (1916) 135 no right or interest therein which

Minn. 35, L.R.A.1917B, 670, 159 N. could pass to his estate. Order of

W. 1086. Scottish Clans v. Reich (Conn.) supra.

New York.-Bishop v. Grand Lodge,

E. O. M. A. (1889) 112 N. Y. 627, 20 IV. Heirs of member.

N. E. 562; Simon v. O'Brien (1895) A majority of the cases hold that 87 Hun, 160, 33 N. Y. Supp. 815; where there is a failure of the bene- Pfeifer v. Supreme Lodge, B. S. B. ficiary, due either to a failure of the S. (1903) 173 N. Y. 418, 66 N. E. member to designate one, the ineligi

108. bility of the beneficiary designated, Oklahoma. Atkeson v. Sovereign

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Camp, W. W. (1923) 90 Okla. 154,

A.L.R. -, 216 Pac. 467. But see Supreme Colony, U. O. P. F. v. Towne (1914) 87 Conn. 644, 89 Atl. 264, Ann. Cas. 1916B, 181, supra, and Lamothe v. Société Laurier (1923) 244 Mass. 189, 134 N. E. 899.

The benefit fund, in an order organized for the purpose of furnishing benefits to the widow, heirs, etc., the by-laws of which provide that the benefit may be payable to the member's wife, husband, children, parents, or other blood relatives, does not lapse on the death of the member, where the beneficiary named in the membership certificate is precluded from taking because he murdered the member, but goes to the children of the deceased member as his heirs. Supreme Lodge, K. L. H. v. Menkhausen (1904) 209 Ill. 277, 65 L.R.A. 508, 101 Am. St. Rep. 239, 70 N. E. 567. The court treated the action as a suit to recover the benefit which the organization undertook by its constitution and by-laws to pay to the person, within certain classes, who should be designated by the member, and not as an action upon the certificate of membership in which the beneficiary who was precluded from taking was named.

Where the certificate of membership provides that the benefit fund is to be paid to the devisee of the member upon his death, the fund does not, upon the death of the member without a will, become a part of his estate, which can be recovered by the administrator. Worley v. Northwestern Masonic Aid Asso. (1882) 3 McCrary, 53, 10 Fed. 227.

But where the certificate provides that the benefit shall be payable to the member's devisees as provided in his last will, or, in the event of their prior death, to the legal heirs or devisees of the holder of the certificate, the legal heirs of the member are, in cases of intestacy, entitled to the fund: Smith v. Covenant Mut. Ben. Asso. (1885) 24 Fed. 685. It will be observed that the contract provision for the payment of the benefit in this case is distinguishable from the contract in the Worley Case

(Fed.) supra, which, from the report, appears to have made no provision for the payment of benefits except to the devisees named in the last will and testament.

And where the beneficiary has forfeited his right to the benefit by murdering the insured, the sole heir of the deceased, who would take in the event of the death of an eligible beneficiary before that of the member, in the absence of a subsequent designation, is entitled to the fund. Sharpless v. Grand Lodge, A. 0. U. W. (1916) 135 Minn. 35, L.R.A.1917B, 670, 159 N. W. 1086.

In Pfeifer v. Supreme Lodge, B. S. B. S. (1903) 173 N. Y. 418, 66 N. E. 108, the fund was awarded to the next of kin of the member, where there was no designation of a beneficiary; the issuing of a certificate designating a beneficiary was held not to be a condition precedent to a right of recovery against the organization.

In Sargent v. Supreme Lodge, K. H. (1892) 158 Mass. 557, 33 N. E. 650, the court construed the by-laws, which provided that in the event of the death of all the beneficiaries selected by the member, before his decease, and his failure to make other disposition thereof, the benefit should be paid to the heirs of the deceased member, or, in case of failure of eligible heirs, that the benefit should revert, to entitle the heirs of the member to the benefit, where the beneficiary named in the certificate was, by statute, ineligible to take. And to the same effect, see Shea v. Massachusetts Ben. Asso. (1893) 160 Mass. 289, 39 Am. St. Rep. 475, 35 N. E. 855.

In Bush v. Modern Woodmen (1915) 182 Iowa, 515, 152 N. W. 31, 162 N. W. 59, the plaintiff brought an action on a benefit certificate issued by the defendant society, in which she was named as beneficiary, and the heirs of the member intervened and claimed the proceeds on the ground that the plaintiff was ineligible as a benefici. ary; the society admitied liability on the certificate and paid the money into court. A judgment in favor of the plaintiff was reversed on the inter



vener's appeal, the supreme court the fund, as against the heirs of the holding that the plaintiff was not beneficiary, in the absence of any new entitled to become a beneficiary under designation. In this case the fund the Iowa statute.

was awarded to the member's father. The fund under a membership cer- And in Wolf v. District Grand tificate in a mutual benefit associa- Lodge, I. O. B. B. (1894) 102 Mich. tion formed for the purpose of afford- 23, 60 N. W. 445, it was said that in ing financial aid and assistance to the the absence of a devise or designawidows and orphans, heirs or devisees, tion the heirs of the member of a of its members, the by-laws of which mutual benefit association provide that the sum, which is to be titled to the benefit fund, under the collected by assessments on other rule laid down in the Rolfe Case members, is to be payable to the dev- (Mich.) supra. isees as provided in the member's Where the beneficiary named in the last will, or, in the event of his prior certificate predeceased the insured, death, to the legal heirs of the dev- and there was no other designation isees, is payable to the heirs of a of a beneficiary, and the by-laws promember who dies intestate, and does vided that the benefits should be paynot revert to the association, Cove- able only to the family, heirs, blood nant Mut. Ben. Asso. v. Sears (1885) relatives, dependents, etc., of the in114 Ill. 108, 29 N. E. 480. The court sured, it was held in Devaney v. stated that the meaning evidently was Ancient Order, H. L. I. F. (1913) 122 that the money was to go to the dev- Minn. 221, 142 N. W. 316, that the isees, if there were any, and, if not, heirs of the insured were entitled to then it should go to the heirs, and take the benefit as beneficiaries, and it would be doing great violence to not by descent, there being no provithe decedent's intention, in view of sion in the laws expressly covering the purpose of the association, to hold the situation, and no claim being made that the money should not be paid that the fund should revert to the over to the heirs in case of intestacy. order, or that it should go to the

Where from the agreed statement heirs of the beneficiary. of facts it appears that the first bene- In Hess v. Segenfelter (Morgan v. ficiary, the divorced wife of the mem- Segenfelter) (1907) 127 Ky. 348, 14 ber, is disqualified, and the second L.R.A.(N.S.) 1172, 128 Am. St. Rep. beneficiary is prohibited from taking 343, 105 S. W. 476, where the benethe insurance under statutes of the ficiary designated in a certificate of state and by-laws of the society ap- membership in a fraternal benefit orplicable thereto, the minor children ganization was by statute ineligible, of the first beneficiary, the divorced the court directed the fund to be paid wife of the member, as heirs of the to the only surviving sister of the member, are entitled to collect the member, who was also administratrix insurance. Atkeson Sovereign of his estate, the association having Camp, W. 0. W. (1923) 90 Okla. 154, paid the money into court and interA.L.R. 216 Pac, 467.

pleaded the parties. In Michigan Mut. Ben. Asso. A mutual benefit certificate made Rolfe (1889) 76 Mich. 146, 42 N. W. payable to the devisees of the insured 1094, it was said that the intention becomes payable to his heirs in case of the statute permitting corporations he does not leave a will, for the right to be formed "for the purpose of se- to the avails of the life insurance curing to the families or heirs of any descends to the heirs, as any other member, upon his death, a certain property or chose in action, and the sum of money," was to secure a fund association cannot avoid its obligato the heirs of the member, and not tion by an alleged failure of benefito the heirs of the beneficiary, who ciaries. Newman v. Covenant Mut. was not a member, so that, where a Ins. Asso. (1888) 76 Iowa, 56, 1 L.R.A. beneficiary dies before the member, 659, 14 Am. St. Rep. 196, 40 N. W. the heirs of the member are entitled to 87.

31 A.L.R.-49.


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But it has been held that an in- Laurier (Mass.) supra. And see Sustruction to the effect that, where the preme Colony, U. O. P. F. v. Towne by-laws of a fraternal organization (1914) 87 Conn. 644, 89 Atl. 264, Ann. provide that upon certain conditions Cas. 1916B, 181, supra. it will pay a benefit to the beneficia

V. Wife and children of member. ries of its member according to a certificate of endowment, the heirs at

It is usually held that, where the law of the member are entitled to

wife of the member is living at the take the benefit when the person des

time of his death, the fund will go to

her in case of a failure of the beneignated by the deceased member is not within the class of persons men


Arkansas. tioned who, under the statute, may be

Runyan v. Runyan designated, was properly refused in (1912) 101 Ark. 353, 142 S. W. 519. the absence of any by-law providing

Connecticut. Supreme Lodge, N. for the payment of the fund to the

E. 0. P. v. Hine (1909) 82 Conn. 315,

73 Atl. 791. member's heirs at law. Lamothe v. Société Laurier (1923) 244 Mass. 189,

Georgia.-Sons & Daughters of Job 138 N. E. 899.

v. Wilson (1908) 4 Ga. App. 235, 61 In view of the general purpose of

S. E. 134. a corporation formed for the object

Illinois. - Chicago Guaranty Fund of assisting and supporting members

Life Soc. V. Wheeler (1898) 79 Ill. or their families in case of sickness,

App. 241; Starcke v. Plattduetsche want, or death, a benefit fund which,

Grot Gilde (1911) 166 Ill. App. 146; under the laws of such corporation,

National Union v. Keefe (1914) 263 is to be set aside to be paid over to

Ill. 453, 105 N. E. 13, Ann. Cas. 1915C, the families, heirs, or legal repre

271. sentatives of the deceased or disabled

Maryland. Meinhardt v. Meinmembers, or to such person as the de

hardt (1912) 117 Md. 426, 83 Atl. 715. ceased, while living, may have di

Massachusetts. - Hadley v. Odd rected, will, in the absence of a cer

Fellows' Beneficial Asso. (1899) 173 tificate designating to whom the

Mass. 583, 54 N. E. 345. funds shall go, be distributed, as in

Michigan. - Switchmen's Union v.


Gillerman cases of intestacy, as a special fund,

(1917) 196 Mich. 141, subject to the exemption provided for

L.R.A.1918A, 1117, 162 N. W. 1024. in the act of incorporation, and not

Mississippi. - Carson v. Vicksburg

. liable for the debts of decedent, or to

Bank (1897) 75 Miss. 167, 37 L.R.A. be taken on process for the payment

559, 65 Am. St. Rep. 596, 22 So. 1. of such debts. Bishop v. Grand Lodge,

Missouri. Lister v. Lister (1898) E. O. M. A. (1899) 112 N. Y. 627, 20

73 Mo. App. 99. N. E, 562. The issue in this case was

Pennsylvania. Arthars v. Baird made and tried as to the existence of

(1890) 20 Phila, 287.

Texas. any liability on the part of the de

Appleby v. Grand Lodge, fendant corporation. And to the same

S. H. (1920) Tex. Civ. App. -, effect, see Simon v. O'Brien (1895) 87

225 S. W. 588. Hun, 160, 33 N. Y. Supp. 815, holding

And see Masonic Mut. Relief Asso. that, as the member has a vested in- v. McAuley (D. C.), and Given v. terest in the certificate, his legal

Wisconsin Odd Fellows' Mut. L. Ins. representatives are entitled to the Co. (Wis.) infra, VI. fund in case of his death without hav

And in some cases the fund has ing designated a beneficiary.

been awarded to the widow and chilBut it has been held that, in case

dren of a deceased member. Supreme the beneficiary named in the certifi- Lodge, N. E. 0. P. v. Hine (1909) 82 cate is ineligible, the heirs of the Conn. 315, 73 Atl. 791; Kentucky member are not entitled to the fund, Grangers' Mut. Ben. Soc. v. McGregor in the absence of any provision (1886) 7 Ky. L. Rep. 750 (abstract); in the by-laws of the association to Gibson v. Kentucky Grangers' Mut. that effect. Lamothe v. Société Ben. Soc. (1886) 8 Ky, L. Rep. 520


(abstract); Carson v. Vicksburg Bank statute ineligible to take; the society (1897) 75 Miss. 167, 37 L.R.A. 559, having paid the money into court to be 65 Am. St. Rep. 596, 22 So. 1.

distributed as the court might deterAnd see Beresh v. Supreme Lodge, mine. K. H. and National Union v. Keefe The benefit, in an association or(III.) infra. VI.

ganized for the purpose of assisting And it has been held that the fund “the widows or orphans, or such other will be awarded to the surviving chil- person or persons as may hold an asdren of a deceased member, in the signment of the certificate of memberabsence of a beneficiary capable of ship at the time of the death of the taking. Sanders v. Grand Lodge, A. member," is, upon the death of 0. U. W. (1910) 153 Ill. App. 7, af- the member, in the absence of a firmed in (1910) 246 Ill. 555, 92 N. E. written designation in the certifi962; Richmond v. Johnson (1881) 28 cate of membership of a beneMinn. 447, 10 N. W. 596; Grand Lodge, ficiary to whom the fund should be A. 0. U. W. v. Gandy (1902) 63 N. J. paid, payable to the member's widow, Eq. 692, 53 Atl. 142; Handwerker v. and not to the administrators of his Diermeyer (1896) 96 Tenn. 619, 36 estate, where, at the time the certifiS. W. 869; Grand Lodge, 0. S. H. v.' cate was issued, the by-laws provided Iselt (1896) Tex. Civ. App. 37 that, in case no person was desigS. W. 377; International Brotherhood, nated to receive the benefit, it should M. W. E. v. Duncan (1917) - Tex. Civ. be payable to the widow for the use App. 194 S. W. 956; Re Sons of of herself and her minor children, Scotland Benev. Asso. (1910) 2 Ont. notwithstanding that a subsequent byWeek. N. 200.

law had been passed, which the court In Sons & Daughters of Job v. Wil- assumed was applicable to the certifison (Ga.) supra, the holder of a bene- cate in question, providing that the fit certificate failed to designate his benefit should be paid to such person beneficiary by a will, as provided in or persons as the membership certifithe by-laws of the association; the cate might require, who should have trial court, on evidence that it was an insurable interest as provided in the custom, whenever a member died the section defining the objects of the without a will, to pay the assessment association. Hadley v. Odd Fellows' over to the members of the family, Beneficial Asso. (Mass.) supra. The held that the widow of the member court stated that it thought the words, was entitled as against his estate; in "to such person or persons as the affirming this judgment, the appellate member's certificate requires,” were court said that, as the primary pur- chosen in view of the circumstance pose of the association was to take that certificates were outstanding care of members during sickness and which designated no beneficiary, and to contribute to the assistance of their which, when issued, had the effect of dependents after their death, even in making the benefit payable to the the absence of such evidence the bene- widow, and that it was the intention fit assessment should be paid to the that it should continue to be so paymember's family, where no beneficiary able unless the member made a change was designated, and not to the estate. by designating another beneficiary in In Meinhardt v. Meinhardt (1912) the

manner pointed out by the 117 Md. 426, 83 Atl. 715, on the death amended by-laws. This construction, of a member of a mutual benefit as- it was said, was the most consistent sociation, the court awarded the bene- with the declared purposes of the fit fund to the legal wife of the mem- association, and most in line with the ber, from whom he had been sep- statute regulating death benefit asarated for a number of years, where sociations; while the other theory, the beneficiary designated in the cer- that the intention of the by-laws, was tificate, a woman with whom the de- to make the benefit payable to the esfendant had illicitly lived after the tate in the absence of explicit designaseparation from his legal wife, was by tion, would divert the fund from the

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