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MARSHALL ESTATE (03/24/54)

March 24, 1954

MARSHALL ESTATE


Appeal, No 42, Jan. T., 1954, from decree of Orphans' Court of Chester County, Estate No. 20735, in Estate of William P. Marshall, deceased. Decree affirmed.

COUNSEL

William E. Parke, for appellants.

George C. Klauder, with him Thomas R. Butler, for appellee.

Before Stern, C.j., Stearne, Jones, Bell, Chidsey, Musmanno and Arnold, JJ.

Author: Bell

[ 377 Pa. Page 42]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BELL

The question involved is a narrow one: Did testator's stirpital distribution begin with his children or with his grandchildren?

William P. Marshall, a former bank president, died October 7, 1901, leaving a last Will dated July 23, 1896. He was 70 years old when he made his Will. The Will contained the following provision: "It is my will that no distribution be made of my estate... both real and personal for and during the full term of her natural life; on the decease of my said wife, I give devise and bequeath to such of my children as are unmarried at the time of her decease, all my real estate situate in the County of Chester, consisting at present of my

[ 377 Pa. Page 43]

Messuage and Tract of land in the township of West Goshen, containing about One hundred and forty three acres; My office Building No. 123 North High street West Chester; and my undivided one half interest in sixteen Frame Tenement houses on Poplar and Worthington streets West Chester. Also all my stock in the National Bank of Chester County, to Hold and possess the same so long as they or the survivors or survivor of them shall remain unmarried: On the decease or marriage of the last survivor of them, it is my will that the said real estate and Bank stock be enjoyed by such of my married children as may then be living during their lives or the life of the survivor of them; And on the decease of the last survivor of my children, I direct that the whole of said real estate and Bank stock be sold, and the net proceeds divided among the descendents (sic) of my married children, per stirpes :"

We said in Lyle Estate, 374 Pa. 344, 347, 97 A.2d 830, at page 347: "'In the interpretation of a will the intention of the testator is the pole star and that intention must be ascertained from a consideration of the entire will and all the surrounding and attendant circumstances: Newlin Estate, 367 Pa. 527, 80 A.2d 819': Anderson Estate, 373 Pa. 293, 296, 95 A.2d 674."

At the time testator made his Will he had a wife and seven living children. His three daughters were married; one of them, Sarah, had one child, a son, William M. Darlington, who is still living; another daughter, Margaret, had five children who were then living. At the death of the testator's last surviving child, two of Margaret's five children had died without issue, while three survived -- Margaret B. Groff, Frances L. Groff, and James ...


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