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MITCHELL v. CHRISTIANNA CLIPPINGER'S HEIRS (03/17/58)

March 17, 1958

MITCHELL
v.
CHRISTIANNA CLIPPINGER'S HEIRS, APPELLANTS.



Appeal, No. 244, Jan. T., 1957, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Cumberland County, Sept. T., 1951, No. 9, in case of Stella S. Mitchell v. Christianna Clippinger's Heirs or Next of Kin, their heirs, next of kin, or personal representatives. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

John McCrea, with him McCrea & McCrea, for appellants.

George F. Douglas, Jr., with him Faller and Dougllas, for appellee.

Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Chidsey, Musmanno, Jones and Cohen JJ.

Author: Chidsey

[ 392 Pa. Page 41]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE CHIDSEY

This is an appeal by the defendants, heirs of Christianna Clippinger, from a judgment of the court below ruling that the holographic will of Christianna Clippinger devised her one-half interest in certain real estate to her nephew, Edward Clippinger.

The plaintiff, a purchaser of the real estate in question from the executor of the estate of Edward Clippinger, brought an action to quiet title against the heirs of Christianna Clippinger, alleging title to the premises by adverse possession. At trial, by stipulation, plaintiff withdrew the claim to title by adverse possession and agreed that the case be determined by an interpretation of Christianna's will as to whether or not the property had been devised to plaintiff's predecessor in title, her nephew Edward.

In 1924, one Annie Reeder conveyed to Edward Clippinger and his aunt Christianna Clippinger the property in question for a consideration of $4,000. Edward and Christianna resided together on the premises until the death of Christianna on the 25th day of May, 1927. The property was assessed for real estate tax

[ 392 Pa. Page 42]

    purposes in the name of Edward Clippinger from 1926 to 1950, when it was sold to plaintiff. At her death Christianna left a will in which she stated in part: "... I also give my nephew, Ed Clippinger, the $2000.00 two thousand dollars I have in the home on 105 East Orange Street Shippensburg I also give my nephew Ed Clippinger $1000.00 one thousand dollars for his kindness to me in careing for me in my old age ..." The will was probated and letters testamentary were issued to Edward. The petition for letters testamentary in the estate stated that decedent died seised of real estate to the value of approximately $2,000. The inheritance tax appraisement in the estate lists the "Total amount of real estate" at $2,000. The first and final account of Edward was filed and confirmed by the orphans' court May 1, 1928. This account discharges the personal property as appraised and does not mention the $2,000 worth of real estate. After the account was filed a release was executed by some of the heirs of Christianna releasing Edward as to a small residuary sum of $551.32.Neither the account nor the release discloses payment of either of the sums of $1,000 or $2,000 to Edward, nor payment of any of the other specific bequests made by the will.*fn1 In 1949, Edward died leaving a will in which

[ 392 Pa. Page 43]

    he directed the sale of his real estate which consisted of the property involved in this appeal. Plaintiff was the purchaser of that property and subsequently sold the premises to a third ...


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