No. 02830 PHILADELPHIA, 1983, Appeal from the Order of October 5, 1983 in the Court of Common Pleas of Northumberland County, Orphans Court, No. 15 May 1982.
Ronald F. Brien, Spring City, for appellant.
Montemuro, Beck and Hester, JJ.
[ 339 Pa. Super. Page 453]
This appeal challenges the propriety of a decree of the Orphan's Court of Northumberland County removing an
[ 339 Pa. Super. Page 454]
executrix of an estate and revoking letters testamentary granted her.
Harvey Wolongavich died testate on May 30, 1981. Surviving Wolongavich were two daughters, Marie Latsha and Dorothy Zeigenfuse and a granddaughter, Cheryl Koch.
Wolongavich's will, dated October 30, 1975, appointed Marie Latsha as executrix of the estate, devised his real estate to his granddaughter, Cheryl Koch, and bequeathed to each of his daughters "one half of the composite monies via U.S. Savings Bonds, remaining insurance monies and monies remaining in the presence of Dorothy Zeigenfuse, being held by her." Finally, the will provided that the executrix should receive the sum of $50 "for incidental expenses to carry out the provisions of this will." The will was probated and Marie Latsha was certified as executrix on June 22, 1981.
On June 10, 1982, a petition was filed by Cheryl Koch to remove the executrix for nonperformance of duties. Her petition averred, inter alia, that the executrix had failed to perform the duties required of her by law, and that she refused to proceed with the sale of the property or to distribute the real estate to the devisee, despite offers by the devisee to pay the balance of any legitimate estate expenses. Koch alleged that the executrix's mismanagement of the estate resulted in the deterioration of the real estate and consequential loss to the devisee. An answer was filed by the executrix which denied the allegations and which included a cross-petition requesting authorization for the sale of the property, payment of estate expenses, and distribution of funds.
The matter was scheduled to be heard on September 8, 1982. Following a conference with the parties' attorneys, the lower court heard oral argument on the petition and answer. On September 10, 1982, an Order of Court was entered removing Mrs. Latasha as executrix and awarding her the sum of $50.00 as executrix fees. Following the dismissal of exceptions on October 5, 1983, this appeal followed.
[ 339 Pa. Super. Page 455]
Appellant contends that she was improperly removed as executrix when the lower court, without benefit of hearing and solely on ...