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PICHEL ESTATE. (03/13/62)

March 13, 1962

PICHEL ESTATE.


Appeal, No. 12, Jan. T., 1962, from decree of Orphans' Court of Lackawanna County, No. 1011 of 1958, in re estate of William F. Pichel, deceased. Decree reversed.

COUNSEL

Ralph S. Snyder, Deputy Attorney General, with him Carl Carey, Special Assistant Deputy Attorney General, and David Stahl, Attorney General, for Commonwealth, appellant.

Robert G. Coglizer, for appellees.

Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen and O'brien, JJ.

Author: Jones

[ 406 Pa. Page 432]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BENJAMIN R. JONES

On February 4, 1948, Charles Pichel and Mary Pichel, his wife (Pichels), gave a mortgage on their property located in Fairmount Township, Luzerne County, to the Wyoming National Bank of Wilkes-Barre (Bank), to secure their note in the amount of

[ 406 Pa. Page 433]

$5,500. On September 9, 1954, Pichels executed another note in the amount of $914.40 to the Bank.

On January 19, 1955, William F. Pichel (decedent), brother of Charles Pichel, purchased from the Bank all Pichels' obligations (i.e., the mortgage and bond, the note for which the mortgage was security and the 1954 note) and the Bank duly assigned all these instruments to decedent.

On August 26, 1955, decedent executed and acknowledged a power of attorney to the Recorder of Deeds of Luzerne County to satisfy the mortgage but this power of attorney was neither recorded or delivered to Pichels or any other person.

When the assignments of the obligations were made by the Bank to decedent the balance due upon such obligations was $3,385.12. There is no evidence that subsequent to the assignments Pichels made any payments, either of interest or principal, to the decedent but there is evidence that decedent never noted these obligations on his personal property returns and that the fire insurance policy on the property covered by the mortgage did not contain an endorsement of decedent's name either as mortgagee or mortgagee-assignee. Decedent, a resident of Lackawanna County, died July 7, 1958 and, after his death, there was found in a safe deposit box in a Scranton Bank*fn1 an envelope in which were the notes, the mortgage and bond and the power of attorney. Inscribed on the outside of the envelope, signed by decedent, was the following: "Held in trust for Chas. L. Pichel & Mary K. Pichel, his wife.

"This envelope is sealed with the understanding that it contains no money, currency, bonds, securities or negotiable paper. It does not contain private papers ...


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