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estate, the consular officer should prepare a list, in quintuplicate, of the articles not taken into physical custody, with indication of safeguarding measures taken, for submission with the inventory of effects which must be prepared for all items in his possession (see § 72.53). If the property which normally would be sealed by the consular officer is not immediately accessible, he should consider requesting the local authorities to seal the premises, or the property, or otherwise ensure that the property remains intact until consular seals can be placed thereon or the property placed in safe storage, or until the legal representative assumes responsibility therefor. § 72.30 Bank deposits in foreign coun.

tries. The existence of bank deposits when known should be reported to the legal representative, or other authorized person, who should be informed of the general procedure required by local law to withdraw such deposits and whether legal counsel is advisable for that purpose. There is no express provision of law authorizing the consular officer to withdraw or otherwise dispose of bank deposits in foreign countries left by deceased United States citizens. Such deposits, therefore, are considered for the purpose of the regulations in this part as forming no part of the personal estate of a decedent, and no Foreign Service fees are chargeable thereon (§ 72.53(c)). In the event that the consular officer is requested by the legal representative of the estate to withdraw bank balances on his behalf in order to defray local expenses in connection with the death and the settlement of the personal estate of the decedent, he may comply with such request if facilities are provided by the depository for this purpose. Funds withdrawn should be limited to the amount necessary to defray the expenses prescribed herein, and fees should be collected on the amount withdrawn, in accordance with $ 72.52. 72.31 Action when immediate posses

sion is impracticable. The law imposes no affirmative obligation upon the consular officer to travel long distances for the purpose of taking on-the-spot possession of a personal estate. If occasion to visit the locality where the death occurred coincides

with the need to take action, the consular officer should avail himself of the occasion to assume custody of the effects. Normally, however, the consular officer's initial responsibility in such cases does not extend beyond reasonable efforts to obtain possession of the estate. He should communicate with the persons, officials, or organizations having custody of the effects, requesting that the effects be delivered to him, at the expense of the estate, for lawful disposition. If the local authorities should decline to surrender possession to the consular officer in a case where he feels that his right to take possession is clear, he may refei the matter to the mission. The consular officer's personal responsibility for any given item among the personal effects commences only when that item reaches his hand. § 72.32 Action when property is in other

consular districts. If any portion of the personal estate is known to be in another consular district, mention of this should be made under “Remarks” in the Form FS-192; and a copy of this form should be sent to the consular officer concerned (see $ 72.4(f)) who should assume responsibility independently for taking possession and disposing of these effects in the manner prescribed herein. If the cash resources of the personal estate found in one consular district are insufficient to pay the decedent's debts in that district or in the country of the consular officer's assignment (see § 72.39), the funds found among the personal effects in the other consular district may be utilized to pay the decedent's debts in both districts or countries. In such cases, the consular officer who effects the transfer of the funds should enter the disbursement in his final statement of account (see § 72.51), including the funds transferred in the gross amount of the estate in his possession, for the assessment of fees as indicated in $ $ 72.52 to 72.55. The funds transferred should also appear in the final statement of account of the consular officer receiving them as “receipts” and “disbursements”, stating the source. However, no fee should be charged on the amount involved (see $ 72.53(b)). $ 72.33 Official notification to legal rep

resentative. The preparation and forwarding of Form FS-192 complies with the law (22 U.S.C. 1176) as regards notification of death to the legal representative as well as to the Secretary of State. Failing by direct means to locate a legal representative, the consular officer may, if required in connection with the settlement of the estate, have recourse to giving public notice of the death in "one of the gazettes” (1.e. any suitable periodical) in the consular district. § 72.34 [Reserved.] 8 72.35 Procedure for inventorying and

appraising effects. After taking possession of the personal estate of a deceased citizen, the consular officer should immediately inventory and appraise the personal effects on the basis of the local market value, article by article, with the assistance of two other persons who should join him in signing the inventory and in certifying to the accuracy of the appraised value of each article inventoried. The inventory should include only that part of the personal estate actually taken into possession by the consular officer, regardless of value and the fact that the death may have occurred in one consular district and a portion of the personal effects may be found in another consular jurisdiction. Care should be exercised not to over-estimate the value of the personal effects, which is the basis on which Foreign Service fees will be charged (8 72.52). The consular officer may, in his discretion, call upon professional appraisers at the expense of the estate when warranted by the nature of the personal effects, i.e., expensive jewelry, furs, etc. $ 72.36 Preparation and disposition of

inventory. The inventory of effects should be prepared in quintuplicate. All copies should be signed by the consular officer and the two persons who assisted in its preparation, and they should be disposed of in the following manner:

(a) The original retained in the office files;

(b) Two copies, under cover of a despatch, sent to the Department (one copy for transmission to the General Accounting Office);

(c) One copy to the legal representative (two copies if the next of kin is the legal representative); and

(d) One copy to the next of kin.

72.37 Disposal of perishable property. As soon

as practicable after the consular officer takes possession, the perishable portion of the personal estate having commercial value (including most foodstuffs) should be sold at auction, i.e., to the most favorable bidder, unless the amount involved does not justify such expenditure. A newspaper advertisement, written or oral requests for bids from any interested party, or the services of a professional auctioneer, may all serve the purpose of insuring an impartial sale. When the value of the goods or circumstances do not justify such action, the consular officer may proceed directly with the sale of the goods. § 72.38 Collection of debts due deceased.

The consular officer should endeavor to collect only those debts due the decedent from persons or concerns in the country in which the death occurred or in the country in which the decedent was residing at the time of death. Debts so collected are regarded as part of the decedent's personal estate, and should be included in the gross amount thereof for the assessment of fees (§ 72.52). $ 72.39 Payment of debts owed by de

ceased. (a) When cash resources suffice. The decedent's debts which the consular officer is reasonably certain are legitimately owed in the country in which the death occurred, or in the country in which he was residing at the time of death, including expenses incident to the disposition of the remains and the personal effects, should be paid out of the cash resources of the personal estate taken into possession by the consular officer; namely, money found among the personal effects, proceeds of the sale of the perishable property, or funds received through the collection of debts owed the decedent. See $ 72.32 in regard to the personal estate in another consular district. Any doubtful claim against the estate should be referred to the legal representative or other authorized person for consideration; a claim for damages for a negligent or wrongful act of the decedent is not a debt to be paid by the consular officer unless it has been reduced to judgment.

(b) When cash resources are insufficient. In the event that the cash resources of the personal estate are not


sufficient to pay the debts owing in the cated above, the consular oficer will be the country in which the death occurred, or required to execute bond, with surety to

in the country in which the decedent was be approved by the Secretary of State 522 residing at the time of death, the con- (22 U.S.C. 1178, 1179). ema sular officer should endeavor to obtain

$ 72.41 Consular officer not to perform nie sufficient funds from the legal repre

legal services or to employ counsel. 33sentative, next of kin or other interested person. See § 72.32 concerning funds

Owing to the legal restriction against rs found in another consular district. Fees

engaging in foreign business or profesI are not charged on funds so furnished

sional activity (22 U.S.C. 805), the errica ($ 72.53). If sufficient funds cannot

consular officer shall not act as attorney er be assembled from the foregoing sources,

or agent for the estate. Neither shall mpe the consular officer should sell at auction

he employ counsel at the expense of the goze (see $ 72.37), such portion of the per

United States Government, or the estate, hasonal estate as may be necessary to pay

in collecting and disposing of the perTee the debts and expenses. Should occasion

sonal estate of a deceased citizen. If arise for sale of motor vehicles, airplanes

legal assistance is requested of the conor powered watercraft, title to which

sular officer, he may furnish the names and liens upon which in the United

of several attorneys or inform the inder States and almost universally are mat

quirer as to sources through which the e ters of official record, care should be

names of suitable attorneys may be in C taken to conform with applicable regis

obtained. Teitration requirements. Articles which are $72.42 Consular officer not to assume

most marketable, and at the same time financial responsibility.
least likely to be desired by the heirs of
the decedent, should be sold first.

The consular officer, as provisional Di

conservator of the personal estate of a Jewelry, heirlooms and articles which

deceased citizen, is neither authorized may have sentimental value to relatives,

nor expected to assume any financial reregardless of intrinsic value, should be

sponsibility, not to incur any expense in sold only in case of necessity, and in the

behalf of the estate, in excess of funds Jordi order named. Members of the decedent's

available for that purpose (see § 72.39 family should be notified of the necessity for the sale, if practicable, in order that they may purchase these articles if they § 72.43 Conditions under which estate desire. Proceeds from the sale are re

can be released by consular officer. garded as forming part of the personal The consular officer is responsible to

estate and should be included in the the United States court having probate ich gross amount thereof for the assessment

jurisdiction over the estate and to the of Foreign Service fees (see $ 72.52). parties in interest for the personal estate $72.40 Consular officer not to act as

in his possession. He must be prepared administrator of estate.

to deliver the estate to, or otherwise disThe consular officer normally should

pose of it according to the wishes of, the

legal representative of the decedent upon not accept appointment from any for

the presentation of satisfactory evidence eign state or from a court in the United

of the latter's right to receive the estate, FAR States to act as administrator, or to

and upon the payment of the prescribed chaki assist (except as provisional conservator)

Foriegn Service fees (§ 72.52). Deterzh in administering the personal estate of a

mination of what constitutes satisfactory deceased citizen who has died, or was re

evidence of a claimant's right to the siding at the time of death, within his consular district. Neither should he ac

personal estate of a deceased citizen is cept appointment as guardian or in any

also the responsibility of the consular other fiduciary capacity in the settlement

oficer. The consular officer, therefore, of the estate without:

must satisfy himself that the evidence (a) Having previously obtained the which he accepts is sufficient to relieve permission of the Secretary of State to him as provisional conservator. Friends, accept such appointment; and

traveling companions, employers, and (b) Having assured himself that he business associates are not competent to has authority so to act under treaty pro- relieve the consular officer of the duties visions, local law or usage.

and responsibilities enumerated in the If authorization is received as to ap- regulations in this part, unless duly aupointment in any of the capacities indi- thorized as legal representatives of the


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estate (see $ 72.18). Satisfactory evi- nature. If the entire shipment is covdence of a claimant's right to the per- ered by a single bill of lading, a certificate sonal estate of a decedent may be sup- attached to the original bill of lading plied in the manner indicated in covering the shipment would be suffi$ 72.44.

cient; otherwise a certificate should ac

company each parcel, box or case. § 72.44 Evidence of claimant's right to

(b) Extra copies of the bill of lading estate.

can serve as a receipt from the forward(a) Letters testamentary. A certified

ing company, one copy to be attached to copy of the letters testamentary (an

the consular officer's final statement of instrument issued by a court of law

account ($ 72.50), and one copy to be under which a person, named as executor

retained in the office files. If shipment by a will, formally takes charge of the

by registered or insured parcel post, or estate and proceeds to carry out the di- by other safe means covered by receipt, rections in the will) is prima-facie evi

is possible, there is no objection to fordence of the executor's right to take pos

warding the estate in this fashion, and session of the personal estate.

postal or other receipts should be dis(b) Letters of administration. A cer

posed of in the manner described above, tified copy of the letters of administra

with the original attached to the final tion (an instrument issued by a court

statement of account. The personal efof law in intestate proceedings appoint- fects of Foreign Service personnel (see ing an administrator to take charge of

§ 72.27) and of personnel of other Govthe property of a decedent) is prima

ernment agencies (except Department of facie evidence of the administrator's Defense and Coast Guard personnel) right to take possession of the personal

should be consigned to the United States estate.

despatch agent at the port of entry, for (c) Affidavit of next of kin. When a

forwarding to the legal representative. decedent dies intestate, and the personal

& 72.46 Consular action on disagreeestate consists only of clothing and similar personal effects appraised at little or

ments between claimants. no commercial value, or in cases where If rival claimants or administrators the consular officer is fully satisfied of (administrators may be appointed in the legal right of the claimant and the different jurisdictions) demand the pervalue of the estate does not warrant the sonal estate in the consular officer's posexpense of probate proceedings, he may session, he should refuse to deliver the be justified in considering as satisfac- estate until an agreement has been tory evidence an affidavit executed by reached, or judgment rendered, as to the decedent's next of kin. The affidavit which claimant or administrator should of the next of kin should be corroborated receive it, and the consular officer so inby the sworn statements of two persons formed in writing. If, after one year, acquainted with the affiant and familiar agreement has not been reached between with the facts of the case. In any event, rival claimants, or judgment rendered, the consular officer must satisfy himself the consular officer should notify all of the legal right of the claimant or parties concerned and sell the entire claimants to the decedent's effects before personal estate at auction in the manreleasing the property that he has in his ner prescribed by $ 72.37, with the expossession, and he must decide whether ception of jewelry, heirlooms, and aran affidavit is acceptable in lieu of a ticles which may have sentimental certified copy of the letters testamentary value to relatives, regardless of intrinsic or the letters of administration.

value. Should any of the personal prop$ 72.45 Shipment of personal estate to

erty not have been taken into physical the United States.

possession previously (see § 72.29), the

consular officer should take possession of (a) When the consular officer is re

such property and, after preparing a quested to ship to the United States the

supplementary inventory in the manner personal estate in his possession, he

prescribed in $$ 72.35 and 72.36, include should deliver it to a forwarding com- this portion of the estate with that alpany selected by the legal representative. ready in his possession. The proceeds Clearance by Customs in the United of the sale should be converted into States will be facilitated if the personal United States dollars and after payment estate is accompanied by a consular cer- of local debts (§ 72.39) and collection tificate identifying it and indicating its of the fee prescribed by $ 72.52, should

be transmitted, with any unsold portion estate is held less than one year, the of the estate in the consular officer's personal effects in the departing officer's possession, to the Department of State possession should be turned over to anfor forwarding to the General Account- other officer at the post against a reing Office for safekeeping and lawful dis- ceipt therefor, in triplicate, identifyposition as conservator of the estate (22 ing the property and cash on hand by U.S.C. 1175).

reference to the inventory ($$ 72.35 and

72.36) and the trust fund records of the $ 72.47 Consular action on unproved claim to estate.


(c) Procedure when estate held for If the evidence of a claimant's right

more than one year. When the estate to receive the estate is not considered

has been held for more than one year, sufficient to relieve the consular officer

the personal effects in the departing ofof his responsibility as provisional con

ficer's possession should be forwarded to servator, he may elect a period of time,

the Department for transmission to the not less than one year from the date of

General Accounting Office in the manthe decedent's death, within which set

ner prescribed by § 72.46 and accounted tlement must be effected, in order to

for in accordance with $ 72.50 unless obviate interminable delay in dispos

circumstances as described in $$ 72.46 ing of the estate. In the consular offi

and 72.47 warrant continuing efforts to cer's discretion, he may before releas

effect agreement between rival claiming the estate, require the claimant to

ants, or to establish an unproved claim. give bond in an amount fixed by the

If the estate is not forwarded to the Deofficer himself to run for such period

partment, it should be turned over to anof time as he may designate, in order to

other officer at the post in the same protect himself against other possible

manner authorized by paragraph (b) of claims against the estate. If claim to

this section. the estate is still unproved at the expiration of the period set, or the claimant § 72.50 Final statement of account. refuses to meet the conditions of any The consular officer must account dibond which the consular officer may re- rectly to the parties in interest and to quire, the consular officer should dispose the courts of law in estate matters. of the entire personal estate in the man- Consequently, he must keep an account ner prescribed by $ 72.46.

of receipts and expenditures for the per& 72.48 Consular action on unclaimed

sonal estate of the deceased; i.e., debt estates.

all moneys and effects which actually

come into his possession, and credit all If, after the expiration of one year

payments made on account of the esfrom the date of the decedent's death,

tate. At such time as the consular ofia legal representative has not appeared

cer is ready to deliver the estate, he to claim the estate, the consular officer

should prepare his final statement of should dispose of the entire personal

account, entering thereon the balance estate in the manner prescribed by delivered to the legal representative or $ 72.46.

person designated by him (with name $ 72.49 Disposition of estate upon de

and address stipulated) or the balance parture of responsible officer.

forwarded to the Department for trans

mission to (a) Responsibility vested in officer,

the General Accounting

Office. not post. For the purpose of the regulations in this part, the consular officer § 72.51 Preparation and disposition of who actually takes possession and dis

final statement of account. poses of the personal estate of the de

The final statement of account should ceased, i.e., the oficer whose signature be prepared in quadruplicate. All copies appears on the inventory of effects, is should be signed by the accountable officonsidered to be the responsible officer. cer and the consular impression seal imConsequently, upon his departure from pressed on each copy, and should be disthe post, either on transfer or extended posed of in the following manner: leave, provision should be made for the (a) The original should be sent to the disposition of any estate remaining un- legal representative with the final balsettled at the time of his departure. ance due the estate;

(b) Procedure when estate held for (b) One copy retained in the office less than one year. When the personal files; and

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