No. 715 Pittsburgh 1982, Appeal from the Decree of the Court of Common Pleas of Mercer County, Civil Division, at No. 1314 C.D. 1979, No. 716 Pittsburgh 1982 Appeal from the Decree of the Court of Common Ples of Mercer County, Orphans Division, at Register's #37443
Charles F. Gilchrest, Sharon, for appellants.
David Goodwin, Sharon, for Nancy D.L. Brenckle, appellee (at No. 715) and participating party (at No. 716).
David W. Ketler, Grove City, no appearance enter nor brief submitted on behalf of Nancy Arblaster, appellee (at No. 715) and participating party (at No. 716).
Milford L. McBride, Jr., Grove City, for Barbour, participating parties.
Richard Alan Peterson, Greenville, for Strout Realty, participating party.
Rowley, Popovich and Hoffman, JJ.
[ 320 Pa. Super. Page 90]
Appellants contend that the lower court erred in denying their request for a jury trial in declaratory judgment proceedings used to resolve an estate dispute, and in imposing sanctions of counsel fees, costs, and punitive damages against their respective shares of the estate. These contentions lack merit. Accordingly, we affirm.
The testator executed a will on October 12, 1972 naming his three daughters -- appellants Arnetta Andrews and Loretta Hutchins and appellee Nancy Arblaster -- as co-executrices and leaving his probate estate to be divided equally among them. In 1977, he married appellee Nancy Brenckle
[ 320 Pa. Super. Page 91]
and subsequently executed deeds for his realty naming her as co-tenant by the entireties. He died on July 8, 1979, survived by Nancy Brenckle and the three daughters.
A few weeks later, Nancy Brenckle and the three daughters executed a "Family Agreement" to dispose of the estate. Nancy Brenckle complied with her obligations by preparing to move out of the testator's residence in anticipation of a flat sum cash payment, but the daughters could not agree upon the division of the realty. On August 31, 1979, the co-executrices advanced Nancy Brenckle part of her share to make a downpayment on a mobile home, but on September 4, Arnetta stopped payment on the ...