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LEAVER ESTATE. (03/24/58)

March 24, 1958

LEAVER ESTATE.


Appeal, No. 39, Jan. T., 1958, from decree of Orphans' Court of Berks County, 1954, No. 400, in re estate of Warren M. Leaver, deceased. Decree affirmed as modified; reargument refused June 9, 1958.

COUNSEL

Walter B. Gibbons, with him Ralph C. Body, Dawson H. Muth, James A. McTague, and Body, Muth, Rhoda & Stoudt, for appellant.

C. Leo Sutton, with him John E. Marx, Leon Ehrlich and Dilworth, Paxson, Kalish, Kohn & Dilks, for appellees.

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

Author: Bell

[ 393 Pa. Page 56]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BELL

This appeal involves the interpretation of a holographic will, which often presents a difficult problem. Warren M. Leaver, a widower, died on July 6, 1953. He left a daughter, Marguerite Leaver Macpeak, who has no children, and a son, Carroll Ritter Leaver, who has one child.

Mr. Leaver in his holographic will dated January 30, 1943, provided pertinently as follows:

[ 393 Pa. Page 57]

"All articles for domestic purpose or utility, household furniture, and furnishings, books and all articles of private possession (excluding only stocks, bonds and/or documentary evidence of investment) as contained in my home, in my safety deposit box, or elsewhere, I hereby bequeath solely and in their entirety, to my daughter, Marguerite Leaver Macpeak, to be kept or disposed of at her discretion.

"Any real estate, stocks, bonds, and/or documentary evidence of investment of which I may die possessed. I bequeath to my daughter, Marguerite Leaver Macpeak, and to my son, Carroll Ritter Leaver, in equal shares, and in the following manner:

"All real estate*fn1 shall be sold, at private or public sale at the discretion of my executrix.

"All stocks and/or bonds, shall, wherever possible be divided equally, in kind. Any such division developing an odd share, same may be sold and the proceeds equally divided, or if desirable kept by choice, first, of my daughter, Marguerite Leaver Macpeak, or second by my son, Carroll Ritter Leaver by payment therefor, to my Estate, of the appraised value of such odd share as arrived at for Federal Tax purposes.

"My Executrix shall have complete discretion as to the sale of any stocks and/or bonds for the purpose of acquiring cash necessary to the settlement of taxes ...


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