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HOPE ESTATE. (03/22/60)

March 22, 1960

IN RE HOPE ESTATE.


Appeals, Nos. 220, 276 and 277, Jan. T., 1959, from decree of Orphans' Court of Philadelphia County, July T., 1915, No. 264, in re estate of S. Emma P. Hope, deceased. Decree affirmed. Audit of fourth account. Before KLEIN, P.J. Adjudication filed confirming account, exceptions to adjudication dismissed and decree entered, before KLEIN, P.J., BOLGER, LEFEVER, SAYLOR and SHOYER, JJ., opinion by BOLGER, J. Exceptants appealed.

COUNSEL

John C. Noonan, for appellant.

Edward S. Lower, for appellants.

Frank F. Truscott, with him Otis W. Erisman, for appellee.

Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Bok and Mcbride, JJ.

Author: Bell

[ 398 Pa. Page 471]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BELL

S. Emma P. Hope died on April 13, 1914, leaving no children or issue to survive her. By her will she gave, devised and bequeathed her residuary estate to her trustees on three separate trusts: A trust to pay the income*fn1 to her sister, Annie J. Thompson, for her life; another trust to pay the income*fn1 to her niece, Helen Thompson Theobald, for her life; and another trust to pay the income*fn1 to her niece, Lillian Pennell Thompson Walls, for her life. Mrs. Hope's sister, Annie J. Thompson, died February 19, 1937, leaving to survive her two children, Helen Thompson Theobald and Lillian Pennell Thompson Walls. Mrs. Hope's niece, Helen Theobald, died January 16, 1942, leaving to survive her four children: Dorothy Theobald Poorman, Herbert Pennell Theobald, Frederick Thompson Theobald, and B. Franklin Theobald. B. Franklin Theobald died on May 21, 1952, without children or issue. Mrs. Hope's niece, Lillian Pennell Thompson

[ 398 Pa. Page 472]

    paid and distributed in four equal shares to Helen's four children, Dorothy Hope T., Poorman, Herbert Pennell Theobald, Frederick Thompson Theobald, and B. Franklin Theobald. B. Franklin survived his mother, but predeceased his aunt, Lillian P. T. Walls, who, we repeat, died August 28, 1958, without issue. The executor of the will of B. Franklin was awarded by the Orphans' Court, we repeat, a 1/4th interest in the principal of Lillian Walls' trust.

The Lillian Walls' trust and the Helen Thompson Theobald trust each contained the following additional provision:

"Should however my said niece die without leaving any child children or issue her surviving, or should said child or children all die in their minority, then and in such an event I do give devise and bequeath the principal of her said trust estate to my said trustees to be held by them In Trust for my said sister Annie J. Thompson and my said niece Helen Thompson Theobald upon the same uses and trusts as are herein expressed for them concerning their share in my said residuary estate. Provided, however that in no event shall any husband of my said niece receive any portion of my estate."

The pole star in the interpretation of every will is the intention of the testator. This intention is to be determined from the language of his entire will construed in the light of the circumstances surrounding him when he made it. "In determining the testator's intention - if no uncertainty or ambiguity exists - his meaning must be ascertained from the language of his will; it is not what the Court thinks he might or would have said in the existing circumstances, or even what the Court thinks he meant to ...


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