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TOWNSEND WILL. TOWNSEND TRUST (04/16/68)

decided: April 16, 1968.

TOWNSEND WILL. TOWNSEND TRUST


Appeals from decree of Orphans' Court of Montgomery County, Nos. 66431 and 66759, in re estate of Mary H. Townsend, deceased, and trust inter vivos, Mary Hanlon Townsend, Settlor.

COUNSEL

John A. Eichman, 3rd, with him Henry I. Koplin, Elvin R. Souder, and Clark, Spahr, Eichman & Yardley, for appellant.

Philip A. Bregy, with him William M. Marutani, Thomas S. Weary, Joseph Neff Ewing, and MacCoy, Evans & Lewis, for appellees.

J. Brooke Aker, Arthur C. Dorrance, Jr., and Smith, Aker, Grossman & Hollinger, and Dechert, Price & Rhoads, for appellees.

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

Author: Bell

[ 430 Pa. Page 320]

Mary Hanlon Townsend died October 1, 1965, leaving her last will, dated June 14, 1965, and an inter vivos Trust Deed, dated July 11, 1963, which was thereafter thrice amended. Mary Townsend Cochran, decedent's niece by marriage, has appealed to this Court from the several decrees (actually one decree which covered several subjects) of the Orphans' Court, which sustained decedent's will and her inter vivos Trust and the three amendments thereto. The final Decree, from which these appeals have been taken, is as follows:

"And Now, March 29, 1967, it is ordered and decreed that proponents' motion to dismiss the caveat, supplemental caveat and second supplemental caveat and also the pleading attacking the inter vivos deed of trust and its amendments is allowed with prejudice, and that this action shall have the effect of the entry of a compulsory non-suit against contestant; further, that the Register of Wills is directed to probate decedent's last will dated June 14, 1965; and, that the inter vivos deed of trust dated July 11, 1963 and amendments thereto dated February 20, 1964, March 6, 1964, and June 14, 1965 are declared to be valid and enforceable at law.

By the Court

(s) Alfred L. Taxis, Jr.

President Judge"

We shall summarize the procedural posture of this case, which is very complex and covers some ten pages in appellant's brief, as well as the testimony which covers approximately 1,000 pages. We note that there were ten prior wills or codicils, but only the final will, dated June 14, 1965, is here involved.

Appellant has attacked five documents: (1) decedent's alleged will dated June 14, 1965, because of forgery; (2) ...


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