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GROSSMAN ESTATE. (11/12/56)

November 12, 1956

GROSSMAN ESTATE.


Appeal, No. 161, March T., 1956, from the decree of Orphans' Court of Washington County, 1955 A.A., No. 231, in re estate of Theodore M. Grossman, alias Theo M. Grossman, deceased. Decree affirmed. Audit of account of executor. Before ANDERSON, P.J. Adjudication filed finding title to stock vested in decedent; exceptions to adjudication dismissed and final decree entered. Sister of decedent appealed.

COUNSEL

Leonard Boreman, with him Sherman H. Siegel, for appellant.

Thomas L. Anderson, with him Meyer Goldfarb and Samuel Goldfarb, for appellee.

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

Author: Bell

[ 386 Pa. Page 648]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BELL

Theodore M. Grossman died on January 4, 1955, leaving a personal estate in excess of $71,000. In his last Will dated August 5, 1949, he gave one-half of his estate to his widow and divided the other one-half in varying amounts among his brothers and sisters, one of whom, Hilda S. Grossman, is the claimant in the present appeal. After Grossman's death his executor opened his safe deposit box in the Peoples First National Bank and Trust Company, Washington, Pa., and found in it cash, stock certificates, insurance policies, and other items belonging to decedent. Included therein was a certificate No. 1 for 100 shares of stock of Hudson's, Inc. (a Pennsylvania corporation) which was dated January 14, 1947, and signed by the proper officers, namely, Theodore M. Grossman, President, and Simon Jacobs, treasurer. In the space left for the owner or registered holder, appeared in typewriting "Theodore M. Grossman". Immediately above his name, in entirely different style of typing, appeared the words "Hilda S. Grossman or". The stock, which had a market value of $32,500., was registered in the name of Theodore M. Grossman, and there was no evidence

[ 386 Pa. Page 649]

    when or by whom the words "Hilda S. Grossman or" were typewritten on the certificate. The safe deposit box was leased by decedent in his name on February 5, 1945, at which time he also executed a writing authorizing the bank to permit his sister, Hilda, as his deputy, to have access to such box. She exercised this right of access seven times between October 11, 1945 and December 28, 1949. Thereafter access was had only by decedent. Decedent was fond of his sister Hilda; she had taken care of many minor business matters for him; prior to his marriage he had helped her financially; and at one time they had maintained joint bank accounts.

Decedent made several loans at his bank and in connection with one of the loans pledged as collateral his Hudson's, Inc. stock. This stock was returned to him on June 30, 1949. Attached to the said stock certificate of Hudson's, Inc., as it was found in decedent's safe deposit box after his death, was a printed power of attorney dated January 12, 1948, authorizing Theodore M. Grossman to pledge as collateral security for any loan his 100 shares of Hudson's, Inc., which was signed by Hilda A. Grossman. There was no evidence to prove that decedent had ever actually delivered the stock certificate to Hilda Grossman or that Hilda ever had actual possession of the stock certificate. Decedent always voted the stock at the corporation stockholders' meetings and included the dividends therefrom in his income tax return. We are of the opinion that these facts, without more, did not prove a completed inter vivos gift of the stock of Hudson's, Inc. to Hilda S. Grossman.

In Brightbill v. Boeshore, 385 Pa. 69, 122 A.2d 38, the Court, quoting Tomayko v. Carson, 368 Pa. 379, 383, 83 A.2d 907, said (page 74): "'A claim of a gift inter vivos against the estate of the dead must be supported

[ 386 Pa. Page 650]

    by clear and convincing evidence: Leadenham's Estate, 289 Pa. 216, 137 A. 247; Snyderwine, Admrx. v. ...


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