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ESTATE SOPHIE V. KATKOWSKI (07/05/79)

decided: July 5, 1979.

IN RE ESTATE OF SOPHIE V. KATKOWSKI, DECEASED. APPEAL OF WILLIAM H. LAUBACH, SURVIVING EXECUTOR UNDER THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF SOPHIE V. KATKOWSKI, DECEASED


No. 49 January Term, 1978, Appeal from the Decree of the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County, Orphans' Court Division, entered January 28, 1978 as of File No. 39408.

COUNSEL

Bernard B. Naef, Victor F. Cavacini, Allentown, for appellant.

Richard J. Orloski, Allentown, for appellee.

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

Author: Larsen

[ 485 Pa. Page 379]

OPINION OF THE COURT

Appellant and his wife were named executors of decedent's estate under her last will and testament which provided inter alia the following instructions:

[ 485 Pa. Page 380]

Second: I hereby order and direct my Executors to allow my daughter, Emily Lesko, and my son, Lewis F. Katkowski, to reside in the homestead providing either of them will not remarry, but they must pay all taxes, water rents, fire and storm insurance, and all necessary repairs to the homestead.

I order and direct my Executors to inspect said homestead and if any repairs are needed shall order the above two named children to make the same within 30 days or the property shall be sold by the Executors as will be described in the next paragraph.

In the event that either one of the above named children, Emily or Lewis, are remarried, die or fail to pay the taxes, fire and storm insurance, water rent, and repairs then I give, devise and bequeath to my Executors with full power and authority to my said Executors to sell the same at either public or private sale for the best prices obtainable, which in their judgment seem for the best interests of my Estate, and upon the sale thereof my said Executors are authorized and empowered to execute, acknowledge and deliver good and sufficient deeds and further assurances in law to the purchasers thereof in fee simple, the same as I could do if living. . . .

Emily Lesko and her husband resided in the homestead following decedent's death. After Emily Lesko's death, the executors sold the homestead to Robert Burch on November 22, 1974 for $8,500. On February 25, 1975, the surviving heirs of Joseph B. Katkowski, a devisee under decedent's will, filed objections to the final accounting of decedent's estate claiming that the executors were negligent in failing to perform their duties imposed under the will, i. e., to inspect the premises and order necessary repairs which would be paid for by the tenant, Emily Lesko; said repairs inuring to the benefit of the estate. Following a hearing on the ...


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