Appeal from decree of Orphans' Court of Lancaster County, No. 51 of 1970, in the Matter of the Estate of Tillie E. Wilson.
Roberts R. Appel, with him Charles Foltz Herr, and Appel, Ranck, Herr & Appel, for appellants.
Harry B. Yost, with him Hassel and Yost, for appellees.
Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice O'Brien. Mr. Justice Pomeroy and Mr. Justice Nix concur in the result. Mr. Justice Eagen dissents. Mr. Chief Justice Jones took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.
In March of 1966, the decedent, Tillie E. Wilson, with the assistance of her attorney, Randolph C. Ryder, transferred shares of stock of American Telephone & Telegraph Company, which she then owned individually, in her own name, into the names of herself and her two daughters (appellants) as follows:
. 140 shares, certificate No. 66T213053, registered as follows: "Mrs. Tillie E. Wilson and Mrs. Nancy W. Crouse, Joint Tenants";
2. 120 shares, certificate No. 66T213054, registered as follows: "Mrs. Tillie E. Wilson and Mrs. Florence W. Ryder, Joint Tenants."
The actual certificates for the stock registered in joint names as stated were delivered by the decedent to her attorney, who was married to her daughter, Florence Ryder, one of appellants. The certificates were then placed by the attorney in the safe deposit box registered in his name and that of his wife, where the certificates remained until after the decedent's death.
Shortly after the new certificates issued, the two daughters of decedent executed irrevocable powers of attorney, dated April 8, 1966. These powers of attorney authorized the decedent and her attorney to transfer all of the interest of the decedent's daughters in the AT&T stock back to Tillie E. Wilson, and specifically referred to the stock certificates by certificate number and number of shares. Both daughters testified that the purpose of the powers of attorney was to enable the decedent to have the money (i.e., the value of the shares) for her well-being "if she needed it."
The decedent in her lifetime received all of the dividends paid on the stock. The dividend checks were made out to the joint names so that the donees had to endorse these checks before depositing them in their mother's account.
Contemporaneously with these events, decedent executed a codicial to her will in which, inter alia, she revoked the appointment of her four daughters as executrices, two of the daughters being appellees here and the other two being appellants. She ...