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BONHAM ESTATE. (06/30/58)

June 30, 1958

BONHAM ESTATE.


Appeals, Nos. 11 and 12, May T., 1958, from decree of Orphans' Court of York County, 1957, in re estate of Rebekah L. Bonham, deceased. Decree affirmed.

COUNSEL

Wentworth D. Vedder, iii, with him Morris & Vedder, for appellants.

W. W. Van Baman, with him George Hay Kain, and Kain, Kain & Kian, for appellee.

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

Author: Arnold

[ 393 Pa. Page 356]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE ARNOLD

Rebekah L. Bonham died testate leaving a will dated December 10, 1912, and probated in York County, in which she named the Guardian Trust Company as executor and trustee. The trust was for the benefit of three daughters, Elizabeth S. Bonham, Any Bonham and Eleanor Bonham, to invest the principal and pay the income annually in equal parts to the beneficiaries named, with a gift over upon the decease of any of her daughters without children.In the event any of

[ 393 Pa. Page 357]

    the daughters died without issue, then her share should go to the surviving daughter and the issue of any deceased daughter, per stirpes, upon the same trust as theretofore set forth.

Two of the daughters, Amy Bonham Sullivan and Eleanor Bonham McCoy, died without issue, leaving Elizabeth S. Bonham as the only surviving daughter of the testatrix. She is now past 82 years of age; and it is admitted that she has never married and is incapable of bearing children.

On her petition to do so, the orphans' court terminated the trust, concluding that the entire corpus is now vested absolutely in the petitioner, Elizabeth S. Bonham, and directed the trustee to file its final account. The pertinent portions of the will of Rebekah L. Bonham appear on the margin hereof.*fn1

The question raised by these circumstances is whether the surviving sister is now entitled to a termination of the trust, and to receive the corpus of the trust upon such termination. The answer rests upon a determination of the testator's intention as evidenced by the words of her ...


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