No. 190 Harrisburg 1983, Appeal from the Final Decree entered on the 2nd day of May, 1983 in the Court of Common Pleas of York County, Pennsylvania, Orphan's Court Division at No. 67-80-732 (Proceeding: Exceptions to Adjudication).
Lewis P. Sterling, York, for appellant.
Byron H. LeCates, York, for Williams, participating party.
Robert M. Strickler, York and Lawrence Barth, Deputy Attorney General, for The Visiting Nurse, participating party.
Wickersham, Olszewski and Hoffman, JJ.
[ 329 Pa. Super. Page 460]
This is an appeal from the final decree of the Orphan's Court of York County dismissing appellant's exceptions to the Chancellor's decree nisi and adjudication. For the reasons below, we affirm.
On June 23, 1980, George B. Rudy died, leaving a will dated April 1, 1976, and a codicil thereto dated February 9, 1979. Item III of the will stated: "I give my personal
[ 329 Pa. Super. Page 461]
effects and all items of Rudy Family memorabilia . . . to . . . George W. Williams, III [appellee] . . . ." Item VIII of Mr. Rudy's will bequeathed all of his real property, "together with the contents thereof", to his friends, Mary and Margaret Lau [appellants]. The residue of the estate was placed in trust, with the income thereof payable perpetually to several charitable organizations, among them the York College of Pennsylvania.
Appellants contest the disposition of certain items found locked in a filing cabinet on the deceased's premises. These items, with an estimated fair market value well in excess of $500,000 include: municipal bonds, corporate stock, a collection of rare coins, several valuable watches, a sizable amount of cash and an assortment of fine jewelry.
Shortly after Mr. Rudy's death, a proposed account and distribution was filed for audit by the executor of the estate. The Chancellor held that the above mentioned assets passed to appellee as "personal effects" under Item III of the will. Appellants excepted to this finding; they claimed these assets were "contents" of Mr. Rudy's home that belonged to them by virtue of Item VIII of the will. The court en banc, agreeing with the logic of the Chancellor, dismissed appellants' exceptions and awarded assets to appellee.
Appellants challenge the validity of that disposition. They raise myriad substantive issues. Before we address those issues, we must ...