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ESTATE AGNES SHEA KLEIN. APPEAL ESTATE AGNES SHEA KLEIN (10/07/77)

decided: October 7, 1977.

IN RE ESTATE OF AGNES SHEA KLEIN. APPEAL OF ESTATE OF AGNES SHEA KLEIN, DECEASED, BY ITS EXECUTRIX, MARLENE SHEA INDOVINA


COUNSEL

Anthony J. Martin, Monroeville, for appellant.

Frank C. Rayburn, John J. Klein, Pittsburgh, for appellee.

Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ.

Author: Roberts

[ 474 Pa. Page 418]

OPINION OF THE COURT

Agnes Shea Klein (decedent) died in an automobile accident on November 1, 1972. Her husband, Albert B. Klein (appellee), the driver of the vehicle in which she was riding, was subsequently charged and convicted for the involuntary manslaughter of decedent.*fn1

On November 22, 1972, decedent's will was admitted to probate and letters testamentary were issued to decedent's

[ 474 Pa. Page 419]

    daughter, Marlene Shea Indovina (appellant), the executrix of the estate. By the terms of the will, Marlene Shea Indovina was to receive three parcels of real estate, certain government bonds and $10,000.00 in cash. The residue of the estate was left to appellee.*fn2

On May 20, 1974, appellant filed an inventory of the assets of the estate.*fn3 On July 1, 1974, appellee filed an election to take against the will.*fn4 Appellant then filed a "petition to revoke and vacate" the election on the ground that appellee was barred from sharing in the estate by the Slayer's Act.*fn5 Appellee later claimed the family exemption of $1,500.00.*fn6

[ 474 Pa. Page 420]

On October 28, 1974, appellee filed a petition to recover from the estate funds which were formerly on deposit in two bank accounts in the names of Albert Klein or Agnes Klein. Appellee alleged that decedent had withdrawn the funds from the two accounts without his knowledge or consent and had deposited the proceeds in two new accounts in the name of Agnes Klein, in trust for Phillip and Michelle Indovina.

A hearing on these petitions was held on September 30, and October 1, 1975. During this hearing, appellant also contended that the proceeds received by appellee as beneficiary of decedent's life insurance policies should be returned to the estate pursuant to the Slayer's Act.*fn7

The Orphans' Court: (1) denied appellee's petition to take against the will;*fn8 (2) allowed appellee's application for the family exemption; (3) granted appellee a share of the joint bank accounts; and (4) declined to rule on the merits of the estate's attempt to recover the proceeds of the insurance policies.*fn9 Appellee filed no exceptions to the court's decree. Appellant filed exceptions which were dismissed by the court en banc on March 17, 1976. This appeal followed.*fn10 We affirm.

I

Section 8802 of the Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries Code provides:

"No slayer shall in any way acquire any property or receive any benefit as the ...


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