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ESTATE GEORGE W. GEYER (01/18/85)

filed: January 18, 1985.

IN RE ESTATE OF GEORGE W. GEYER, LATE OF THE BOROUGH OF CHAMBERSBURG, FRANKLIN COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, DECEASED. APPEAL OF GEORGE W. GEYER


No. 00132 HBG 83, Appeal from the Order entered March 22, 1983 in the Court of Common Pleas of Franklin County, Orphans Division, at No. 54 of 1982.

COUNSEL

Joseph Roda, Lancaster, for appellant.

Thomas J. Finucane, Chambersburg, for appellee.

Wickersham, Johnson and Hoffman, JJ.

Author: Hoffman

[ 338 Pa. Super. Page 160]

The issues on appeal are whether the antenuptial agreement in question was valid and, if so, whether it had been

[ 338 Pa. Super. Page 161]

    breached. We find that the agreement was enforceable and, accordingly, reverse the order below.

On January 9, 1977, 68-year-old George W. Geyer, II, the decedent, married 56-year-old Rosalie S. Geyer, appellee, in Chambersburg, Pa. Decedent had been previously married twice, and both of his former wives had predeceased him. Appellant, George W. Geyer, III, is decedent's son from his first marriage and his sole heir. Appellee also had two prior marriages, and the three children born to her first marriage are all married with families and in good financial condition. Decedent died testate at the age of 74 on May 1, 1982. On May 7, 1982, his will dated July 13, 1981 was probated and letters testamentary were issued to appellant as the executor of the estate. The will provides, inter alia, the following:

SECOND. I give, devise and bequeath my home residence at 542 Guilford Avenue, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and the sum of Twenty Thousand ($20,000.00) Dollars, to my wife, Rosalie S. Geyer [appellee], in accordance with the terms of our anti-nuptial [sic] agreement dated December 30, 1976.

THIRD. I give, devise and bequeath all the rest, residue and remainder of my estate whatsoever and wheresoever situate, to my son, George W. Geyer, III, [appellant] absolutely, if he is living at the time of my death.

On May 8, decedent's safe deposit box at his bank was opened by appellant and his attorney in the presence of the bank's branch manager. Among the contents of the box, they found an antenuptial agreement, which is set forth in its entirety as follows:

ANTE-NUPTIAL AGREEMENT

MADE this 30th day of December, in the year nineteen hundred and seventy- six (1976);

BETWEEN George W. Geyer, of the Borough of Chambersburg, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, FIRST PARTY,

[ 338 Pa. Super. Page 162]

AND

Rosalie Werner, of Greene Township, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, SECOND PARTY.

WHEREAS, the said parties contemplate entering into marital relations with each other and each of the parties has been previously married;

WHEREAS, the first party is possessed of real and personal property, and the ownership and operation of Geyer Lumber & Millwork Co., Inc., the fuel oil business, and Geyer's Kraft Korner, Inc.;

WHEREAS, the first party has a son, George W. Geyer, III, five grandchildren, and six great grandchildren;

WHEREAS, the second party's heirs are three children and ___ grandchildren; and

AND WHEREAS, the parties hereto, both having full knowledge and understanding of the other party's financial worth and financial position, agree with the other that their existing legal rights or the existing legal rights of their children and heirs shall not be affected by the proposed marriage as herein stated:

NOW, THEREFORE, it is mutually agreed as follows:

1. That the first party shall, during the continuance of his marriage with the second party, provide a home for the second party and shall use his income to provide reasonable support, maintenance and medical expenses for the second party, and upon the death of the first party if the second party survives him, then the first party will either devise or convey to the second party the residence property, free and clear of all encumbrances, including the household furniture and furnishings less certain items which will be designated for his child or grandchildren.

[ 338 Pa. Super. Page 163]

2. That upon the death of the first party, the second party surviving him and living with him at the said time as his wife, shall be awarded, given or Page 163} bequeathed a sum of Twenty Thousand ($20,000.00) Dollars to provide a substantial contribution to her way of living.

3. That the first party agrees with the second party and the second party agrees with the first party that in consideration of the two previous provisions by the first party, the second party will not make any claim to or file an election to any other portion of the first party's estate.

4. That the first party, in consideration of these agreements, understands and agrees that the second party may dispose of her estate in any way she wishes to do so, either by gift, devise or by will.

5. That it is expressly agreed that by virtue of the said marriage, neither party hereto shall have or acquire any right, title or claim in or to the real or personal estate of the other, except as herein provided, and the estate of each shall descend to and vest in his or her heirs-at-law, legatees or devisees as may be prescribed by his or her last will and testament.

6. That it is expressly agreed that if either party shall mortgage, sell or convey his or her real estate, the other party hereto shall upon request join in any and every mortgage, deed, or other instrument that may be necessary for the eventual transfer of the same.

7. That this agreement is entered into by each party with full knowledge on the part of each of the extent and probable value of all of the property, or estate, of the other, and of all the rights, that but for this agreement, would be conferred by law upon each of them in the property, or estate, of the other, by virtue of the consummation of the said proposed marriage; and it is the express intention and desire of the parties hereto that their respective rights in and to each other's property, or estate, of whatsoever character the same may be, shall be determined and fixed by this agreement, and not otherwise.

[ 338 Pa. Super. Page 1648]

. That this agreement shall bind the parties hereto, their heirs, executors and assigns.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have hereunto set their hands and seals, the day and year first above written.

WITNESS:

___ /s/ George W. ...


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