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ZEEDICK WILL (04/19/66)

SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: April 19, 1966.

ZEEDICK WILL

Appeals from decree of Orphans' Court of Allegheny County, No. 4706 of 1961, in re estate of John G. Zeedick, also known as John G. Zeedick, Jr., deceased.

COUNSEL

Michael Hahalyak, for appellants.

John H. Scott, Jr., with him Ernest R. Dell, and Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay, for appellee.

Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ.

Author: Per Curiam

[ 421 Pa. Page 45]

This is a will contest. After a lengthy hearing in the court below, the chancellor sustained the will and dismissed the appeal from the probate thereof. Exceptions to his findings were later overruled by the court en banc, and appeals to this Court followed.

It is the contention of the appellants: (1) that under the testimony the trial court was bound as a matter of law to declare the will was procured by fraud and undue influence; (2) that from a consideration of all the testimony, the conclusion is inescapable that the testator lacked testamentary capacity, and the will did not correctly state his intentions as to the disposition of his property.*fn1

In his adjudication, the chancellor carefully detailed and analyzed the testimony presented against and in

[ 421 Pa. Page 46]

    support of the validity of the will. We need not summarize it again. After our study of the record, we are completely satisfied that the chancellor's findings of fact, which were subsequently affirmed by the court en banc, are supported by both sufficient and competent evidence, and that correct legal principles were applied thereto in resolving the issues for determination.

We also note that on appeal, it is not within our province to assess the credibility of the testimony. Our scope of review is limited to a determination of whether or not the findings of fact are supported by sufficient, competent evidence, and whether or not the court below committed an error of law or abused its discretion: Abrams Will, 419 Pa. 92, 213 A.2d 638 (1965). We find nothing in the instant record to warrant a reversal of the decree below.

Decree affirmed. Parties to pay own costs.

Disposition

Decree affirmed.


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