Appeal, No. 4, March T., 1964, from decree of Orphans' Court of Washington County, No. 212 of 1962, in re estate of William Wendel Holmes, also known as William W. Holmes, also known as W. W. Holmes, deceased. Decree reversed.
Thomas L. Anderson, with him Paul P. Posa, for appellant.
No argument was made nor brief submitted for appellee.
Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'brien and Roberts, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE EAGEN
This is an appeal from a decree below dismissing exceptions to the final account and schedule of distribution of a decedent's estate.
The single question for determination involves the present ownership of 150 shares of corporate stock.
The facts are as follows:
W. W. Holmes died intestate on June 21, 1961, leaving to survive as heirs at law, his widow, Helen E. Holmes, a brother and a sister. He and his wife lived together in a friendly family relationship for many years right up to the time of his death. No children were born of the marriage.
During decedent's lifetime, he purchased with his own funds 150 shares of stock in the Chartiers Saving and Loan Association of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Certificates for 70 shares and 25 shares were issued on June 2, 1946, and March 8, 1948, respectively, in the names of "W. W. Holmes and/or Helen E. Holmes," and ownership was so carried on the records of the corporation. A certificate for 55 shares was issued on January 20, 1949, in the names of "W. W. Holmes and Helen E. Holmes." Admittedly, the names on the certificates were the decedent and his wife.
Possession of the certificates was never delivered to the wife. They were kept by the decedent in the marital home in a safe to which both had the combination and enjoyed access. However, the wife never actually saw or handled the certificates.
On May 6, 1960, without the knowledge or consent of his wife, the decedent surrendered the certificates to the corporation and caused new certificates to be issued in the names of himself and two nephews. These certificates remained in the possession of ...