NO. 2007 Philadelphia, 1982, Appeal from the Order entered October 26, 1981, in the Court of Common Pleas of Cameron County, Orphans' Court No. 80-31. NO. 2008 Philadelphia, 1982, Appeal from the Order entered October 26, 1981, in the Court of Common Pleas of Cameron County, Orphans' Court No. 83-40.
Patrick J. Kronenwetter, Emporium, for appellant.
Deborah W. Babcox, Smethport, for appellee (at No. 2007) and for participating party (at No. 2008).
McEwen, Hester and Lipez, JJ.
[ 330 Pa. Super. Page 23]
This appeal provides a reflection of a family in turmoil and focuses upon the effect of two documents, namely, a deed and a will. The distinguished President Judge Paul B. Greiner provides in his able opinion a recitation of the factual history which reveals the roles of the parties to the appeal as well as the issues presented by the appeal:
[Leonard and Mena Burkhouse were the parents of Nancy Galford and Mary Fowler. Mina Burkhouse had a son by a prior marriage, Marcellus Haupt. Leonard Burkhouse had two children by a prior marriage, Karl Burkhouse and Dorothy Arlene Blinzer.]
The dispute among the parties which has given rise to both the cases under consideration here arose out of certain events that occurred in March and April of 1979. Both Leonard C. Burkhouse and his wife Mina were gravely ill, and it appeared that Mina, especially, might
[ 330 Pa. Super. Page 24]
require extended care in a nursing home at considerable expense.
Plaintiff Leonard and Mina at the time owned certain real and personal property located in Shippen Township, Cameron County, Pennsylvania. The real property consisted of approximately fifteen acres of land and a house, subject to a mortgage in favor of the Bucktail Bank and Trust Company of approximately $10,300.00.
Testimony by Leonard at a deposition taken June 3, 1980, and introduced at trial as well as the testimony at the May 20th hearing, established that Leonard became concerned about how to preserve this property so that it could be used to pay for his wife's care in case he died. He did not, however, want the property to become subject to attachment or lien by any welfare agency. Accordingly, Leonard discussed with several of the children the question of which of them might be best qualified to manage the property for Leonard's benefit and especially for his wife's benefit. Apparently because Karl was a businessman who owned and managed other real properties and was fairly well off as compared to some of the other children, Leonard decided to deed the property to Karl. Leonard C. and Mina C. Burkhouse therefore executed on April 3, 1979, a deed conveying all their interest in the real estate referred to above to Karl. On the same day, Karl executed a bond and warrant to the Bucktail Bank and Trust Company pledging his personal liability on the mortgage indebtedness originally incurred by Leonard C. and Mina, who were to remain jointly and severally liable on the indebtedness. The Bucktail Bank and Trust Company simultaneously executed a waiver of the nonassumable provisions of the mortgage from ...