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MORELL ESTATE (04/23/74)

decided: April 23, 1974.

MORELL ESTATE


Appeal from decree of Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Court Division, of Lehigh County, No. 54673, in re: Estate of Nicholas L. Morell, deceased.

COUNSEL

James N. Diefenderfer, for appellants.

Robert G. Tallman, and Butz, Hudders & Tallman, for First Valley Bank, appellee.

H. P. McFadden, William G. Malkames and McFadden, Riskin and Huston, for Louise Capideferro, appellee.

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

Author: Jones

[ 455 Pa. Page 513]

This case involves the Pennsylvania Estate Tax Apportionment Act of August 24, 1951, P. L. 1405, as amended, 20 Pa. S. ยงยง 3701-3705. However, that Act does not specifically address the narrow issue presented herein.

Nicholas L. Morell died testate on January 31, 1965. His will was probated before the Register of Wills of

[ 455 Pa. Page 514]

Lehigh County on February 10, 1965, and letters testamentary were issued to the named executors.*fn1

In the seventh paragraph of his will testator bequeathed his "slag wool and slag wool products and related business" to appellants, Matthew Tumminello and Albert A. Morell, and to Clycena Konrad in interests of 51%, 24.5% and 24.5% respectively. Appellants also acquired certain non-probate assets by reason of the death of the decedent. The non-probate assets which passed to Albert A. Morell were valued at $46,139.89 and the value of the non-probate assets which passed to Matthew Tumminello was fixed at $9,001.93.

On April 29, 1966, the executors filed their Federal estate tax return and paid $56,996.55 in tax to the Internal Revenue Service. On September 13, 1968, an additional $5,592.50 of Federal estate tax was paid as a result of adjustments in the marital deduction, the disallowance of certain other deductions, and the correction of an error in valuing certain stock. Shortly thereafter, the Internal Revenue Service issued a closing letter and $794.90 representing interest on the $5,592.50 was paid by the executors.

On February 21, 1973, an adjudication was filed in the Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Court Division, of Lehigh County, confirming the executor's First and Final Account along with three supplemental accounts thereto, and directing distribution in accordance with a fourth amended statement of proposed distribution. Pursuant to the Estate Tax Apportionment Act, that statement provided for the deduction, from the ...


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