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DILLON ESTATE (01/07/71)

decided: January 7, 1971.

DILLON ESTATE


Appeal from decree of Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Court Division, of Allegheny County, No. 1066 of 1945, in re Estate of May Elizabeth Vogel Dillon, deceased.

COUNSEL

B. A. Karlowitz, with him John P. Papuga, and Tucker, Burke, Campbell & Arensberg, for appellant.

Richard C. Witt, for appellee.

Bell, C. J., Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts and Pomeroy, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Roberts. Mr. Justice Cohen took no part in the decision of this case.

Author: Roberts

[ 441 Pa. Page 207]

This case involves the question of the disposition of certain funds deposited in a savings account in the Pittsburgh National Bank by a testamentary trustee, who later pledged the savings account as collateral for his personal obligation to the Bank. The Bank asserts that a Totten trust was created between it and the depositor-trustee, and that it did not know the funds were assets of a testamentary trust. The beneficiary claims the funds under the trust instrument. The Bank refused to turn over the funds to the beneficiary, holding them as a setoff for the trustee's personal obligation. In a well considered opinion the orphans' court ordered the Bank to release the money, and the Bank has appealed. We affirm.

The facts, as determined by the orphans' court, were as follows: May Elizabeth Vogel Dillon, a widow, died in Allegheny County on February 20, 1945. Her will was duly probated, and the bulk of her estate went to her brother, J. Pierre Vogel, in trust for her minor son, Albert A. Dillon, also known as Richard A. Dillon.

The brother was named executor as well as trustee. His first account, filed December 30, 1952, disclosed $30,000 in United States Government Bonds, among other assets. On February 19, 1960, Vogel redeemed the $30,000 in Bonds and deposited the proceeds in his trustee's checking account at Mellon National Bank and Trust Company. Subsequently he established three separate savings accounts:

(1) In Mellon National Bank and Trust Company: "J. Pierre Vogel in Trust for Richard A. Dillon" in the amount of $10,000.00;

(2) In Dollar Savings Bank: "J. Pierre Vogel in Trust for Richard A. Dillon" in the amount of $10,000.00;

[ 441 Pa. Page 208]

(3) In Pittsburgh National Bank: "J. Pierre Vogel in Trust for Richard A. Dillon" in the amount of $10,000.00 (Savings Account Passbook No. 11633).

We are here concerned only with the account at the Pittsburgh National Bank. On August 10, 1964, Vogel borrowed $2,000 from the Bank, for his personal use, pledged the passbook, and signed the note "J. Pierre Vogel In Trust for Richard A. Dillon." Two days later Vogel borrowed an additional $1,000, signed a new note in ...


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