Appeal from decree of Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Court Division, of Erie County, No. 253 of 1971, in the matter of estate of Donald J. Snyder, a/k/a Donald Jacob Snyder, deceased.
T. Warren Jones, with him MacDonald, Illig, Jones & Britton, for appellants.
S. Thaddeus Kwiat, for appellee.
Jones, C. J., Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Roberts. Mr. Justice Eagen concurs in the result. Dissenting Opinion by Mr. Justice Pomeroy. Mr. Justice Nix and Mr. Justice Manderino join in this dissent.
This is an appeal from a decree of the Orphans' Court Division of the Erie Common Pleas Court. This decree sustained appellee's objections to an account and
audit statement of the estate of Donald J. Snyder and held that the testator intended the last sentence of the body of his will to operate as a specific rather than a general residuary clause. We believe that the orphans' court's finding was supported by competent and adequate evidence. Accordingly, we affirm.
The testator Donald J. Snyder died on May 23, 1970. His will, executed on January 5, 1967,*fn1 read as follows:
"All previous statements and codicils are void. I, Donald Snyder, being of sound body and mind do hereby leave the bulk of my estate less $2000 which is to go to Donald Bull who now lives on Kirsh Road. The money in the credit union and in the banks and my stocks all go to my mother. In case of her death they all go to my niece Mary Lou Britton and my nephew David Florek. This is to be divided equally among the two. My automobile, if I own one at this time, goes to David Florek. My burial sum from my social security goes to St. Stephens Lutheran Church. The money from my insurance policies pays for my funeral. If there is anything left after this it goes to the children of Mary Lou & David.
"I hereby will $1000 of money to Gladys McClelland."
Appellants, the grandnephew and grandniece of testator, are the "children of Mary Lou & David" to whom the testator refers in his will. Appellants argue that the sentence of testator's will immediately preceding the signature constitutes a general ...