NO. 80-3-610, Appeal From An Order of The Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County, Orphans' Court Division, No. 1289 of 1977
James A. Schneider, Hazleton, for appellant.
Kenneth R. Bayless, Hazleton, for appellee.
O'Brien, C.j., and Roberts, Nix, Larsen, Flaherty, McDermott and Hutchinson, JJ.
Appellant, administrator of this estate, appeals a May 2, 1980 Order of the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas directing him to pay interest to appellees, administrators of the estate of decedent's surviving spouse. The sole issue here is whether the Common Pleas Court erred in ordering the payment of interest after confirmation of an account directing distribution without interest where neither exceptions nor an appeal was filed.
The claims for interest had been raised on April 16, 1979, prior to the first and final account, by way of appellees' petition for a citation directing appellant to show cause why he should not file an account. On May 22, 1979, before hearing on the citation, appellant filed his first and final account, proposing distribution without interest. On November 1, 1979, the trial court dismissed appellees' objections to that account and the account was audited.*fn1 The
trial court confirmed the account absolutely on December 10, 1979 and ordered distribution without interest. Appellees did not file exceptions to the trial court's order of December 10, 1979. Moreover, they did not appeal.
Appellant tendered distribution in accordance with the Order of Distribution but appellee refused to accept it because it did not include interest. On May 2, 1980, after confirmation of the account, the Court of Common Pleas ordered payment of interest on the proceeds of the widow's family exemption and on the balance due on her distributive share under the intestate laws.*fn2
We hold the order confirming the account and ordering distribution without interest became final when no appeal was timely filed. The failure to appeal from a final order renders the doctrine of res judicata applicable. Crozer Estate, 346 Pa. 446, 31 A.2d 147 (1943). See also Estate of Gasbarini v. Medical Center of Beaver County, Inc., 487 Pa. 266, 409 A.2d 343 (1979); Love v. Temple University, 422 Pa. 30, 220 A.2d 838 (1966).
Moreover, section 3521 of the Probate Code,*fn3 authorizing the court to entertain a petition to review within five years of confirmation does not ...