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SCOTT ESTATE (06/30/65)

decided: June 30, 1965.

SCOTT ESTATE


Appeal from decree of Orphans' Court of Philadelphia County, No. 1292 of 1941, in re estate of Alexander H. Scott, deceased.

COUNSEL

William H. Lathrop and William H. S. Wells, with them Samuel S. Logan, Jr., and Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, and Saul, Ewing, Remick & Saul, for appellants.

Philip A. Bregy, with him Herbert Bass, and MacCoy, Evans & Lewis, for Children's Hospital, appellee.

James L. Price, Special Assistant Attorney General, Charles A. Woods, Jr., Deputy Attorney General, and Walter E. Alessandroni, Attorney General, for Commonwealth as parens patriae for charitable trusts.

Bell, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Chief Justice Bell. Mr. Justice Eagen dissents and would remand the record to the Court below with directions to determine if, and in what amount, the fiduciary is entitled to additional compensation provided for under the Act of May 1, 1953, P. L. 190, 20 P.s. ยง 3274 et seq.

Author: Bell

[ 418 Pa. Page 333]

Alexander H. Scott died May 11, 1940. He left a will and two codicils in which he appointed as executors and trustees his brother, John M. Scott, his wife, Helen Struthers Scott, and the Girard Trust Company, now called the Girard Trust Bank. Scott gave his residuary estate to his trustees, in trust to pay the net income to his wife for her life, with succeeding contingent life interests to certain members of his family and upon the death of the last survivor of the life tenants to pay the principal to the Children's Hospital, absolutely and in fee simple.

[ 418 Pa. Page 334]

At the audit of the executors' account in July, 1941, the Orphans' Court awarded the three executors for their services a 3% commission on the gross principal of Scott's estate in the sum of $22,056.64, and also income commissions of $1,764.27. Under the then existing law, namely, the Fiduciaries Act of June 7, 1917,*fn1 the aforesaid commission on principal included compensation for their services as executors and for their future anticipated services as testamentary trustees.

John M. Scott, one of the executors-trustees, died in 1945. Testator's widow, who was the last survivor of the residuary life tenants, died February 8, 1963. The present trustees' account was filed by (a) the corporate trustee, and (b) the widow's executors. The principal of the trust had increased from (approximately) $607,870 in 1942, to (approximately) $1,480,307, as of June 4, 1963, although no unusual or extraordinary services were rendered by the trustees.

The principal question which was raised in the Court below and on this appeal is: May testamentary trustees who, in 1941, were paid a commission on principal at the audit of their account as executors, receive at the termination of the trust in 1963, an additional commission on principal for their ordinary services as trustees?*fn2

At the recent audit of the trustees' account the auditing Judge (Judge Shoyer), allowed the trustees additional compensation of $20,000, payable out of principal. It is not clear exactly how the auditing Judge arrived at the figure of $20,000. ...


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