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MOESLEIN ESTATE (11/26/73)

decided: November 26, 1973.

MOESLEIN ESTATE


Appeal from decree of Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Court Division, of Dauphin County, No. 472 of 1948, in re the estate of Edward Moeslein.

COUNSEL

Ronald M. Katzman, with him Goldberg, Evans & Katzman, for appellant.

William M. Gross, for appellee.

Jones, C. J., Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Chief Justice Jones.

Author: Jones

[ 454 Pa. Page 171]

Edward Moeslein (decedent) died, testate, on February 22, 1927, survived by three sons, seven grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

Paragraph Seventh of his will set up a trust of his residuary estate which provided that the income from the trust should be paid to his sons, each son to receive

[ 454 Pa. Page 172]

    one-third of the income for life*fn1 and, upon the death of each son, that son's share should "revert to and become part of the corpus" of the estate. Paragraph Eighth of the will provided that, in the event a son should predecease his wife (i.e., that person who was his wife at the time decedent executed his will), the surviving widow be given $1,500 annually for her support and maintenance "so long as she lives and remains unmarried." Upon the death or remarriage of such widow, the "annuity" should "revert to and become part of the corpus of [decedent's] estate."

The crucial portion of this will insofar as this appeal is concerned is paragraph Ninth: "Upon the death of all of my said sons and the death or remarriage of the surviving widows (i.e., the present wives of my sons as of the date of this my will) of my said sons, I give, devise and bequeath the corpus of my estate to my grandchildren, their heirs and assigns, share and share alike, absolutely." (Emphasis added) Decedent's wife had died twelve years prior to the date of both the will and decedent's death. All of the decedent's sons and their wives*fn2 died on or before October 28, 1968.*fn3 Of decedent's seven grandchildren -- living at the time decedent died -- four are still living; each of the three deceased grandchildren left issue.

One of the decedent's grandchildren, Edward K. Moeslein, left one child, a son, Edward K. Moeslein, Jr. (the present appellant), and had twenty years after

[ 454 Pa. Page 173]

    decedent's death been divorced from appellant's mother and, ten years later, had remarried Lucille Moeslein. Subsequent to his remarriage, Edward K. Moeslein, the grandchild, made a will giving all of his estate, "including any right, title or interest ...


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