No. 3328 Philadelphia 1982, Appeal from the Order in the Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Court Division, of Luzerne County at No. 1493 of 1980.
Mark A. Ciavarella, Jr., Wilkes-Barre, for appellants.
John E. Morris, III, Wilkes-Barre, for Hanover, appellee.
Arthur L. Piccone, Wilkes-Barre, for United Penn, appellee.
Thomas P. Brennan, Wilkes-Barre, for participating parties.
Wickersham, Watkins and Montgomery, JJ.
[ 326 Pa. Super. Page 596]
This is an appeal from an order of the Orphans' Court of Luzerne County dismissing the exceptions filed by appellants.
Edward B. Abend died on August 6, 1980. A Last Will and Testament dated July 11, 1980, was filed for probate by Hanover Bank of Pennsylvania as Executor of the Will. The Will contained eleven specific bequests totaling $15,700, to various friends, relatives, and charities. The rest, residue, and remainder of the estate was left to Hanover Bank of Pennsylvania as Trustee, to hold as a charitable trust for the benefit of Project Remain, a social agency operated by the Sisters of Mercy in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The assets of the trust are expected to exceed $100,000.00. The dispute centers around ownership of three certificates of deposit assigned to the trust.
On July 3, 1978, the decedent purchased a Certificate of Deposit from United Penn Bank, Wilkes-Barre, in the amount of $20,000.00. The Certificate was made payable to "Edward Abend or Deborah Davis," Deborah being a grandniece of Mr. Abend and 19 years old at the time. On November 9, 1978, the decedent purchased another Certificate of Deposit from United Penn Bank, in the amount of $20,000.00. This Certificate was made payable to "Edward Abend or Donna Davis," Donna being a grandniece of decedent and 20 years old at the time. On February 18, 1980, the decedent purchased a third Certificate of Deposit from United Penn Bank in the amount of $1,879.40. This Certificate was made payable to "Edward Abend or Donna Davis." All three certificates were bought by Mr. Abend, using his own funds. He retained exclusive control and possession of the certificates at all times.
In the lower left-hand corner on the face of each certificate is the following language:
[ 326 Pa. Super. Page 597]
This Certificate is not negotiable and any assignment hereof shall be valid only upon written consent of this Bank.
The signature cards signed by the decedent and the Davises reads as follows:
The undersigned hereby agree(s) that the Certificate of Deposit . . . is governed by the Pennsylvania Uniform Commercial Code and the rules and regulations as set forth on the Certificate of Deposit. The Certificate of Deposit, shall be deemed to belong to us, if husband and wife, as tenants by the entireties, otherwise as joint tenants with right of survivorship and not as tenants in common, and in case of the death of any one of us, the bank is authorized and directed to deal with the survivor or survivors as the absolute owner or owners thereof. Each joint owner ...