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ESTATE DONALD SMITH (07/03/80)

decided: July 3, 1980.

IN RE ESTATE OF DONALD SMITH, DECEASED (TWO CASES). APPEAL OF MELLON BANK, EXECUTOR TRUSTEE OF THE ESTATE OF DONALD SMITH. APPEAL OF ZELLA SMITH AND DONALD SMITH


No. 17 March Term, 1979, No. 26 March Term, 1979, Appeal from Decree entered January 24, 1979, of the Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Court, of Westmoreland County, at No. 65-73-1702

COUNSEL

John N. Scales, Scales & Shaw, Greensburg, for appellants at No. 26.

Thomas R. Ceraso, Greensburg, for Victor P. Smith.

George A. Conti, Jr., Greensburg, for Albert Smith.

James R. Silvis, Greensburg, for Ralph L. Smith.

L. E. Moore, Bernard F. Scherer, Lightcap, McDonald & Moore, Latrobe, for Mellon Bank, N. A.

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

Author: O'brien

[ 492 Pa. Page 180]

OPINION OF THE COURT

This is an appeal from a decree entered in the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County, Orphans' Court division, awarding certain claims against the estate of Donald Smith.

Decedent, Donald Smith, died on November 26, 1973, testate. The will was timely offered for probate and letters testamentary granted thereafter to Mellon Bank, N.A., successor to Mellon National Bank and Trust Company, executor named in the will. Claims were subsequently filed against the estate by Victor P. Smith, Ralph L. Smith and Albert Smith, brothers of decedent and appellees herein. Appellees' claims alleged, essentially, that certain transactions had been consummated during testator's lifetime among testator, appellees, and others, the effect of the transactions being as follows: that certain realty ostensibly the property of testator at his death was in fact jointly owned, either as partners or as tenants in common, by testator and various of the claimants; and that certain monies, consideration for or fruits of said transactions, not paid by testator during his lifetime, were owing to claimants by the estate.

Responsive pleadings were filed by the estate and by heirs of the estate, and the cause came on for hearing on August 25, 1976. Subsequent to a request by the Orphans' Court for suggested findings of fact and conclusions of law made to all parties, the court, on July 11, 1978, entered a decree awarding the claims. Exceptions were filed by the estate and certain heirs of the estate, and were argued. On January 24, 1979, the ...


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