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BUZBY ESTATE. (06/25/56)

June 25, 1956

BUZBY ESTATE.


Appeal, No. 120, Jan. T. 1956, from decree of Orphans' Court of Philadelphia County, 1931, No. 2532, in re estate of C. Ernest Buzby, deceased. Decree reversed. Audit of final account of trustee. Before SHOYER, J. Adjudication filed denying claim of wife to life estate; exceptions to adjudication dismissed and final decree entered, before KLEIN, P.J., BOLGER, HUNTER, LEFEVER, SAYLOR and SHOYER, JJ., opinion by SAYLOR, J. Claimant appealed.

COUNSEL

Paul Maloney, with him Francis E. Shields, Joseph S. Conwell, Jr., Ernest Scott and Pepper, Bodine, Frick, Scheetz & Hamilton, for appellant.

Frank O. Schilpp, with him J. Channing Ellery and Rambo & Mair, for appellees.

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

Author: Jones

[ 386 Pa. Page 2]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE JONES

This appeal is concerned with the interpretation of the holographic will and codicil of a layman.

The testator, C. Ernest Buzby, executed his self-drawn will on November 4, 1925. After bequeathing nine legacies among his children, their spouses and other relatives by name, he provided as follows:

"The balance of my estate I bequeath equally to my children Percival W. Buzby Charles E. Buzby Jr. and Elsie W. Bowen, with the proviso that the share of P. W. Buzby be placed in Trust, the income from said trust to be paid to P. W. Buzby and following him, wife and children,

[ 386 Pa. Page 3]

If failing to have children the principal sum eventually to be distributed among my surviving grandchildren."

The will named Charles E. Buzby, Jr., as trustee of the trust for Percival.

At the time of the testator's execution of his will, Percival, then on active duty as a regular officer in the United States Navy, was forty-one years of age; he had been married for over thirteen years to Rita M. Buzby who was then thirty-eight years old and childless. Charles E. Buzby, Jr., had four children living, and Elsie W. Bowen had two children living and a third born on December 6, 1925, a month after the execution of the will. Approximately seven months later, viz., on May 29, 1926, the testator executed a holographic codicil in which he provided as follows: "I direct that should P. W. Buzby die before his wife Rita M. Buzby, that, in lieu of receiving the income from his full share, that she receive an annuity of $1500. per annum, the balance & principal to be divided equally among the surviving grandchildren."

The testator died on November 12, 1930, and his will and codicil were thereafter duly probated.

Percival was retired from the Navy on pension in 1934 as the result of a medical survey. His wife, Rita, died in April, 1936. He subsequently married Ilda Bowen who died in 1939; and, on November 4, 1940, he married Helene T. Buzby. He died May 30, 1954, leaving his wife, Helene, to ...


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