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HOLT ESTATE. (11/14/61)

November 14, 1961

HOLT ESTATE.


Appeal, No. 116, March T., 1961, from decree of Orphans' Court of Butler County, No. 446 of 1958, in re estate of J. Leo Holt, deceased. Decree affirmed.

COUNSEL

Carmen V. Marinaro, for appellant.

Norman D. Jaffe, with him Luther C. Braham, Darrell L. Gregg, Richard B. Kirkpatrick, and Galbreath, Braham, Gregg, Kirkpatrick & Jaffe, for appellee.

Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen and Alpern, JJ.

Author: Bell

[ 405 Pa. Page 246]

OPINION BY MR. CHIEF JUSTICE BELL,

This is an appeal from the decree of the Orphans' Court of Butler County which set aside the probate of the will of J. Leo Holt, declared that decedent had died intestate and directed the Register of Wills to issue Letters of Administration. The matter was heard before the Court below on a petition for a declaratory judgment under the Uniform Declaratory Judgments Act of June 18, 1923.*fn1 From this decree decedent's widow, Phyllis Dittmer Holt, has taken this appeal.

Decedent died on March 5, 1958, survived by his widow and two minor children, Sharon Lee Holt and Georgia Lynne Holt. There was found among his possessions an instrument date January 7, 1944, which was offered for probate as his last will and testament, together with a codicil thereto dated June 17, 1950, which was also offered for probate. Testator was married to his present widow prior to 1944, but his two children were born subsequent to 1944. In the event of intestacy decedent's widow and children would of course share his estate.

The instrument of January 7, 1944, (1) directed the payment of decedent's debts, inheritance tax and expenses of administration and (2) devised the residue of his estate to his wife. The codicil of June 17, 1950, consisted of two clauses; the first republished his 1944 will, and the second clause appointed the Butler Savings & Trust Company as guardian for his minor children.

Decedent had written across the bottom of the instrument dated January 7, 1944, the following:

"Sept. 8-1955

"I hereby render this will void and intend to ...


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