COHN v. MALONE(1918)
[248 U.S. 450, 451] Messrs. J. R. Pottle, of Albany, Ga., George S. Jones, of Macon, Ga., James McIntosh, of New York City, and J. W. Kieve and I. J. Hofmayor, both of Albany, Ga., for petitioner.
Messrs. Sam S. Bennet, of Albany, Ga., Alexander Akerman and Charles Akerman, both of Macon, Ga., and John D. Pope and H. A. Peacock, both of Albany, Ga., for respondent.
Mr. Justice McREYNOLDS delivered the opinion of the Court.
In 1902 and 1905 the bankrupt took out two policies on his life in the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, loss under one payable to his 'executors, administrators or assigns,' under the other to his sister and brother with full power in the assured 'while this policy is in force and not previously assigned, to change the present beneficiary or beneficiaries.' By formal written instruments dated July 15, 1910, he assigned both policies to his wife 'if she outlives me, otherwise to may estate, with full power to the insured to change the beneficiary or surrender this policy to said company at any time, this to be done by instrument in writing under his hand and seal to be recorded at the home office of the company.'
While both policies were in the bankrupt's possession, the trustee demanded them in order that their cash surrender value might be secured and distributed under Bankruptcy Act July 1, 1898, c. 541, 30 Stat. 544 ( Comp. St. 9585-9656). The bankrupt defended upon two grounds: First, that the cash surrender value was not property which could have been transferred by him prior [248 U.S. 450, 452] to bankruptcy; and, second, that the assignment to his wife could not be defeated by the trustee because protected by section 2498, Georgia Code 1910, which provides:
The Circuit Court of Appeals held both grounds of defense bad. 236 Fed. 882, 150 C. C. A. 144. As to the first its ruling accords with the doctrine recently announced in Cohen v. Samuels, 245 U.S. 50 , 38 Sup. Ct. 36. In respect of the second that court declared:
And we approve its conclusion.
Petitioner has not complained here of the action below concerning a third policy, issued by the New York Life Insurance Company.
The judgment of the Circuit Court of Appeals is