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LEONARD ESTATE (11/14/67)

decided: November 14, 1967.

LEONARD ESTATE


Appeal from decree of Orphans' Court of Westmoreland County, No. 1747 of 1963, in re estate of A. L. Leonard, alias dictus Alexander L. Leonard, deceased.

COUNSEL

Charles E. Marker, with him Clarence F. McBride, and Scales and Shaw, for appellants.

George R. Craig, with him Charles T. Bonos, Jr., George Wilson McKeag, John M. Noel, Avra N. Pershing, Jr., Howard M. Whitehead and Carl M. Seiler, for appellees.

Bell, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Jones.

Author: Jones

[ 427 Pa. Page 364]

This is an appeal from the decree of the Orphans' Court of Westmoreland County.

A. L. Leonard, alias dictus Alexander L. Leonard, died on December 28, 1963, a resident of Westmoreland County, Pa. His last will and testament, dated December 16, 1963, was admitted to probate by the Register of Wills of Westmoreland County on January 2, 1964. This last will and testament of decedent contained various charitable devises and bequests including a residuary clause whereby the residuary estate was given to Peoples Union Bank and Trust Company in trust to distribute the income to various charitable institutions.

The testator died within thirty days of the execution of his last will and testament. A hearing was held before the Register of Wills in order to determine the validity of these charitable gifts.*fn1 The evidence

[ 427 Pa. Page 365]

    disclosed that the decedent had executed three wills and a codicil during his lifetime.*fn2

The first will was dated May 22, 1958. This will was delivered to Carl M. Seiber, Esquire, when the decedent visited Mr. Seiber's office on October 28, 1963, for the purpose of preparing a new will. This will then remained in the custody of Mr. Seiber. There were some notations made on the will by the decedent and others made by Mr. Seiber, all for the purpose of assisting in the preparation of a new will for the decedent. This new will was executed on November 8, 1963. Neither the original nor a copy of this November 8, 1963 will was in existence when the testator died. On December 3, 1963, the testator duly executed a codicil to the will dated November 8, 1963.

A third will, dated December 16, 1963, was admitted to probate as the ...


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