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PAVLINKO ESTATE. (05/04/60)

May 4, 1960

PAVLINKO ESTATE.


Appeals, Nos. 165, March T., 1959, and 89, March T., 1960, from decree of Orphans' Court of Allegheny County, No. 854 of 1957, in re estate of Vasil Pavlinko, deceased. Decree affirmed.

COUNSEL

Francis Taptich, for appellant.

John A. Metz, Jr., with him Ralph C. Davis, Joseph B. Mitinger, and Metz, Cook, Hanna & Kelly, for appellees.

Before Jones, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Bok and Eagen, JJ.

Author: Eagen

[ 399 Pa. Page 538]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE EAGEN.

These two appeals involve issues arising out of the same estate (Vasil Pavlinko, deceased).

Appeal No. 165

This review is concerned with the ownership of the balance on deposit in a savings account created by the decedent during his lifetime. The facts are not in dispute. The deceased, Vasil Pavlinko, and Hellen Pavlinko, his wife, during their lifetime owned a joint savings bank account. Hellen died on October 15, 1951. On October 22, 1951, the balance on deposit was $5,098.74, and the surviving husband changed the title to the bank account to read, "Vasil Pavlinko in trust for Elias Martin." (The latter was a brother of the deceased, Hellen Pavlinko). Two additional deposits and no withdrawals during his lifetime caused the account to increase and show a balance in the amount of $7,294.49 as of the date of his death on February 8, 1957. At no time during his lifetime did Vasil Pavlinko surrender control of the bank account to Elias Martin and no change in the title to the account was ever made subsequent to October 22, 1951.

The balance on deposit was withdrawn from the bank by Elias Martin on February 28, 1957. The administratrix of the deceased's estate sought a citation to compel repayment of this money to the estate. The petition was dismissed and an appeal from that order followed.

The lower court's order was correct. Scanlon's Estate, 313 Pa. 424, 169 Atl. 106 (1933) clearly controls the issue involved. Therein this Court restated and approved

[ 399 Pa. Page 539]

    the principle adopted by the American Law Institute in the Restatement, Trusts ( § 58) namely, that, "Where a person makes a deposit in a savings account in a bank in his own name as trustee for another person, intending to reserve a power to withdraw the whole or any part of the deposit at any time during his lifetime and to use as his own whatever he may withdraw, or otherwise to revoke the trust, the intended trust is enforceable by the beneficiary upon the death of the depositor as to any part remaining on deposit on his death if he has not revoked the trust." As pointed out in comment a, "If a person makes a savings deposit in a bank in his own name 'as trustee' for another person, his intention may be either (1) to create a revocable trust, or (2) to create an irrevocable trust, or (3) not to create a trust. Evidence may be admitted to show which was his intention. In the absence of evidence of a different intention of the depositor, the mere fact that a deposit is made in a savings bank in the name of the depositor 'as trustee' for another person is sufficient to show an intention to create a revocable trust. To such a trust the rule stated in this Section is ...


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