No. 110 March Term, 1977, Appeal from the Decree of the Court of Common Pleas, Mercer County, Orphans' Court Division, Dated January 26, 1977, at Register's No. 34393
Michael Halliday, Ruthanne Beighley, Greenville, for appellant.
John H. Evans, Jr., Sharon, for appellee.
Henry E. Sewinsky, Sharon, for First National Bank of Mercer County.
Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix, Manderino and Larsen, JJ. Eagen, C. J., concurs in the result.
We are called upon to decide an intra-family dispute concerning a bank deposit held in the joint names of a parent (decedent) and one of her children. Specifically, we are concerned with a certificate of deposit purchased with funds of the decedent, Florence T. Young, from the First National Bank of Mercer County ("the bank") and issued by the bank in the joint names of (Mrs.) Florence T. Young and her daughter (Mrs.) Bernice Y. Kitch ("Bernice" or "Mrs. Kitch"). Mrs. Young has died, and the amount of the deposit was later paid by the bank to her daughter, Mrs. Kitch, as survivor of the two depositors. The decedent's son, Myron M. Young ("Myron"), the appellee, who along with his sister, Bernice, is a residuary legatee under Mrs. Young's will, contends that there was no completed gift to Mrs. Kitch of a present joint interest in the certificate of deposit and that therefore the certificate was an asset of his mother's estate. The court below agreed, and awarded the certificate or its proceeds to the estate. We do not agree, and will reverse.
The certificate is dated February 12, 1970, and provides in pertinent part:
"Mrs. Florence T. Young or Mrs. Berniece [ sic ] Y. Kitch has deposited in this Bank Fifteen Thousand and no/100
Dollars ($15,000) payable to said depositor or, if more than one, to either or any of said depositors or the survivors or survivor, upon presentation and surrender of this Certificate after maturity."
Neither Mrs. Young nor Mrs. Kitch signed the certificate at the time it was issued; however, they did both sign a signature card which was prepared at the Bank in conjunction with the certificate. The signature card does not indicate the nature of the ...