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Civil Resource Manual

80. Devises And Bequests To The Government

The United States may receive both testamentary and inter vivos donations of either real or personal property, if they are unconditional. See United States v. Burnison, 339 U.S. 87 (1950). Gifts or donations to specific departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States can only be accepted if that entity has specific statutory authority to receive them. Notice of a devise or bequest should be forwarded to the Commercial Litigation Branch, which will ascertain the authority of the beneficiary agency, and its wishes in the matter. If acceptance is desired, the USA will be asked to enter an appropriate appearance in the probate proceeding.

[cited in JM 4-4.450]