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MATTER LILLIAN CAINE. APPEAL LILLIAN CAINE (05/30/80)

decided: May 30, 1980.

IN THE MATTER OF LILLIAN CAINE. APPEAL OF LILLIAN CAINE


No. 341 January Term, 1978, Appeal from the Decree of the Orphans' Court Division of the Berks County Court of Common Pleas, dated July 12, 1978, at No. A-40, 1978.

COUNSEL

Robert J. Manara, Reading, for appellant.

Edward P. Carey, Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellee.

Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Nix, Larsen, Flaherty and Kauffman, JJ. Larsen, J., filed a dissenting opinion in which Kauffman, J., joins.

Author: Roberts

[ 490 Pa. Page 25]

OPINION OF THE COURT

Section 5501(1) of the Probate, Estates and Fiduciaries Code defines an "incompetent" as

"a person who, because of infirmities of old age, mental illness, mental deficiency or retardation, drug addiction or inebriety:

(1) is unable to manage his property, or is liable to dissipate it or become the victim of designing persons . . . ."

20 Pa.C.S. ยง 5501(1). The sole question presented on this appeal is whether the evidence supports a decree of the Court of Common Pleas of Berks County, Orphans' Court Division, adjudging appellant Lillian Caine presently "incompetent"

[ 490 Pa. Page 26]

    within the meaning of section 5501(1). In our view, the evidence does support the decree. Hence we affirm.

Appellant was born in May of 1909. In 1966 she became a resident of Wernersville State Hospital, a Commonwealth facility for the mentally disabled.*fn1 No guardian was appointed at that time. Accordingly, pursuant to statute, the facility's Department of Revenue agent took custody of appellant's property. See Mental Health and Mental ...


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