Appeals, Nos. 238 and 243, Jan. T., 1962, from decree of Orphans' Court of Luzerne County, No. 241 of 1960, in re estate of Ario Whitebread, deceased. Decree, as modified, affirmed.
James Hiscox, for appellants.
Nelson A. Bryan, for appellee.
Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen and O'brien, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BENJAMIN R. JONES
Ario Whitebread, a resident of Luzerne County, died testate on February 14, 1960.
During his lifetime Ario Whitebread engaged in four transactions which constitute the factual background of these appeals: (1) he purchased four U.S. savings bonds, Series H, each of $1,000 denomination and registered "Ario Whitebread and Regina Urbanick", which bonds were found after his death in a safe deposit box registered in Whitebread's name alone, the total value of these bonds being $3,068.80; (2) he purchased fourteen U.S. savings bonds, Series E, registered "Ario Whitebread, P.O.D. Regina Urbanick", and delivered them to his sister, Mrs. VanBuskirk, with instructions to her that said bonds be delivered to Regina Urbanick after his death and delivery thereof was made two days after his death, these bonds having a value of $11,800; (3) he purchased fourteen U.S. savings bonds, Series E, registered "Ario Whitebread and Regina Urbanick" and delivered them to his sister, Mrs. VanBuskirk,
with instructions to her that said bonds be delivered to Regina Urbanick after his death and delivery thereof was made two days after his death, these bonds having a value of $10,400; (4) he opened a savings account in the Susquehanna Savings and Loan Association of Wilkes-Barre, said account being designated "Ario Whitebread in trust for Regina Urbanick", and he delivered the passbook to Regina Urbanick, the balance in said account at decedent's death being $4,361.12. Regina Urbanick was regularly employed as a housekeeper at a rectory situated across the street from Whitebread's residence but occasionally did housework in Whitebread's home and was paid, so far as known to the parties, no other compensation than the bonds and the account given her by decedent.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania appraised the aforesaid bonds and account as of the date of decedent's death and assessed a 15% tax thereon of $4,444.48.
Regina Urbanick refused to pay the Pennsylvania transfer inheritance tax assessed against the bonds and the savings account and contended that it was the duty of the executor of decedent's estate to pay from the residue of the estate any Pennsylvania transfer inheritance tax and U.S. Estate tax that might become lawfully due and payable on said property.
The personal representative of decedent's estate on March 9, 1961 petitioned the Orphans' Court of Luzerne County for a declaratory judgment construing paragraphs Sixth and Eighth of decedent's will. Both Regina Urbanick and the personal representative entered into a stipulation setting forth all the essential facts. On June 22, 1961, the Orphans' Court entered a decree nisi directing the personal representative of decedent's estate to pay all the estate and inheritance ...