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IAFOLLA ESTATE. (01/03/55)

January 3, 1955

IAFOLLA ESTATE.


Appeal, No. 67, March T., 1954, from decree of Orphans' Court of Allegheny County, 1951, No. 2581, in Estate of Antonio Iafolla, also known as Antonio Ufolla and Antonio Ufallo, Deceased. Decree affirmed.

COUNSEL

Edwin B. Goldsmith, for appellant.

Albert A. Fiok, for appellees.

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

Author: Jones

[ 380 Pa. Page 392]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE JONES

Antonio Iafolla died testate on May 14, 1951, leaving to survive him his wife, Maria, otherwise known as Mary, and four children by a prior marriage. His last will, executed on September 13, 1924, was duly probated.

[ 380 Pa. Page 393]

After providing for the payment of his debts and funeral expenses, the testator devised and bequeathed his entire estate to his wife, Maria, whom he named executrix of his will and to whom letters testamentary were granted. The size of the net estate does not appear from the record before us, but, from what was said by counsel at bar, it was relatively small exclusive of two bank accounts which are the subject matter of the current controversy as hereinafter related.

At the time of the testator's death, two bank accounts, aggregating approximately $11,500, stood in his name in trust for three of his four children by his prior marriage. He had opened the first of these accounts in his individual name in the Washington Trust Company of Pittsburgh some time in 1930. On August 7, 1947, he changed the title of this account to himself as trustee for the indicated children of his prior marriage, namely, John, James and Josephine. On September 9, 1948, he withdrew accumulated interest in the amount of $187.54 from this account which, at the time of his death, had a credit balance of 4,407.50. The decedent opened the second account on August 7, 1947, in the Peoples First National Bank and Trust Company of Pittsburgh in his name as trustee for his children, John, James and Josephine. The balance in this account at the time of the testator's death was roundly $7,000.

The widow elected, pursuant to Section 8 of the Wills Act of 1947, P.L. 89, 20 PS § 180.8, to take against her husband's will and elected under Section 11 of the Estates Act of 1947, P.L. 110, 20 PS § 301.11, to treat the two tentative trust bank accounts as testamentary dispositions by her husband so far as her legal rights in his estate were concerned. On the widow's petition, the court below issued a citation to the two banks and to the three beneficiaries of the tentative

[ 380 Pa. Page 394]

    trusts to show cause why they should not pay over to Maria, as executrix of her husband's will, one-third of the funds on deposit in the trust accounts for distribution to her as the decedent's widow. The answer of the Peoples First National Bank and Trust Company admitted the existence of the account in the decedent's name as trustee for his designated children but averred that the funds had been paid over to the children as beneficiaries of the trust shortly after the testator's death. The answer of the Washington Trust Company admitted the existence of the trust account in its keeping and averred that it still held the same. The answer of John and James Iafolla similarly admitted the existence of the account and further alleged that by the widow's execution and delivery of releases and authorizations of January 16, 1952, she had thereby released and authorized both banks to make payment of the ...


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