Appeal, No. 263, March T., 1960, from decree of Orphans' Court of Cambria County, No. 35373, in re estate of Mary M. Neglia, deceased. Decree reversed; reargument refused May 24, 1961.
Samuel R. DiFrancesco, Sr., with him DiFrancesco & DiFrancesco, for appellant.
Samuel G. Shahade, with him Shahade, Horty & Shahade, for appellee.
Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Bok and Eagen, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BENJAMIN R. JONES.
A petition for a declaratory judgment was filed in the Orphans' Court of Cambria County by the personal representative of decedent's estate to determine the ownership of thirteen $1,000 United States savings bonds, Series "E", as between the decedent's husband and her brother, the person designated on these bonds as co-owner with decedent. The court below decided that, by reason of the federal regulations,*fn1 ownership of the bonds was in the brother and not in the husband; from that ruling, this appeal was taken.
The findings of fact of the court below state the factual background:
"1. Mary M. Neglia died on February 19, 1958, a resident of Johnstown. She left to survive her a husband, Bartolo W. Neglia, also known as Bartolomeo Neglia, whom she married in 1951, and a brother, George Sumandra. Prior to her marriage her name was Mary Sumandra Ferner or Mary Ferner.
"2. Between 1946 and 1952 the decedent purchased 13 United States Savings Bonds, Series E. All except the last were purchased before her marriage. Eight of the bonds were issued in the name of Mrs. Mary Ferner or George Sumandra. Four were issued in the name of Mrs. Mary Sumandra Ferner POD (payable on death) George Sumandra. The last bond was issued in the name of Mrs. Mary Neglia POD George Sumandra.
"3. During October, 1957, the decedent, intending to make a gift to her husband of these bonds, endorsed them and delivered possession of them to her husband. She was suffering from multiple sclerosis at the time and was seriously ill, though her mental condition was
good. She said to a witness present with her and her husband, 'I want to give these to Bart to make it easier for him.' In delivering the bonds to her husband, she said, 'I have the money; I ...