John B. Nicklas, Jr., Alfred C. Maiello, McCrady, Nicklas, McCrady & Maiello, Pittsburgh, for appellant at No. 75.
Israel Packel, Atty. Gen., Geoffrey Paul Wozney, Asst. Atty. Gen., Pa. Dept. of Justice, Pittsburgh, for appellant at No. 80.
Robert E. McKee, Jr., Feldstein, Bloom & Grinberg, Pittsburgh, for appellee.
Jones, C. J., and Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Manderino, J., filed a dissenting opinion.
This appeal presents one issue: whether the domicile of the deceased, Alice D. McKinley, was in Pennsylvania so as to vest the Register of Wills of Allegheny County with jurisdiction to probate her will.
After hearing testimony, the Register of Wills determined that the decedent had changed her domicile from Florida to Allegheny County at the time of her death. The Orphans' Court reversed, holding that the decedent had remained domiciled in St. Petersburg, Florida, until
her death. Appellants, proponents of the probate of the will in Pennsylvania, are Elizabeth D. Coyle, beneficiary under the will, Reed B. Coyle, III, residuary legatee, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
It is an established principle that domicile, having been shown to exist, is presumed to continue until another domicile is affirmatively proven. Obici Estate, 373 Pa. 567, 571, 97 A.2d 49, 51 (1953); Pusey's Estate, 321 Pa. 248, 265, 184 A. 844, 853 (1936); Barclay's Estate, 259 Pa. 401, 404-405, 103 A. 274, (1918). It is the duty of the proponents of the probate of this will, by clear and satisfactory proof, to overcome the presumption that the old domicile remained. See Loudenslager Will, 430 Pa. 33, 38-39, 240 A.2d 477, 480 (1968). See also Obici Estate, supra, 373 Pa. at 571-572, 97 A.2d at 51.
The burden of demonstrating that decedent reestablished a Pennsylvania domicile is on proponents of the probate of this will. Loudenslager Will, 430 Pa. at 38, 240 A.2d at 480; Dorrance's Estate, 309 Pa. 151, 172, 163 A. 303 at 310 (1932).
The domicile of a person is the place where he has voluntarily fixed his habitation with a present intention to make it either his permanent home or his home for the indefinite future. To effect a change of domicile there must be a concurrence of two factors: physical presence in the place where the new domicile is alleged to have been acquired, and the intention to make it one's home without any fixed or certain purpose to return to the former ...