Appeal of the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Adams County, Orphans' Court Division, at No. 26 May Term, 1973.
Larry W. Wolf, Hanover, for appellant.
Robert G. Teeter, Assistant District Attorney, Gettysburg, for appellee.
Wickersham, Del Sole and Popovich, JJ.
[ 340 Pa. Super. Page 457]
The instant appeal is from a final decree of distribution of an estate. At issue is an auditor's characterization, confirmed by the orphans' court below, of certain transactions as distributions of the estate to an heir which had the effect of denying that heir any share of final distribution. Also at issue is the claim that the settlement of the estate was unreasonably delayed. For the following reasons, the decree
[ 340 Pa. Super. Page 458]
of the orphans' court is affirmed in part and reversed in part.
The procedural history of the instant case is as follows: On September 22, 1972, Corvan S. Bryan died intestate leaving a widow and one child, a daughter. On September 29, 1972, letters of administration were granted to the decedent's widow, Appellee Marian Bryan. The Appellant, Marian Flynn Gulden, is the daughter of the decedent and Appellee. Following the grant of letters, there was little activity on the estate docket until the spring of 1979.
On April 12, 1979, Appellant petitioned the orphans' court to force Appellee to file an accounting. On July 9, 1979, the court ordered Appellee to file a first and final accounting within ten days. However, it was not until January 20, 1982, that Appellee filed the first and final accounting together with a proposed schedule of final distribution. Timely exceptions to the accounting were filed by Appellant and an auditor was appointed. After an evidentiary hearing, the auditor issued a report on April 13, 1983, to which Appellant renewed her exceptions. On December 1, 1983, the orphans' court dismissed Appellant's exceptions and entered a final decree confirming the auditor's proposed schedule of final distribution. This timely appeal followed.
There are three transactions in dispute. First, on April 1, 1975, Appellant, Appellant's former husband, James Flynn, and Appellee executed a demand note to the First National Bank & Trust Company of Waynesboro for $11,000. Appellee, as administratrix, agreed to secure the note with estate assets, specifically certain shares of stock in a water company. The second transaction occurred the next day, on April 2, 1975, when the same three persons executed a demand note for $15,000 to the Adams County National Bank which note was secured by Appellee's personal savings account. The purpose for the above described loans was to provide Appellant and her former husband with cash for a down payment on the purchase of a bar. The remainder of the financing for the purchase of the bar was obtained through
[ 340 Pa. Super. Page 459]
a mortgage loan agreement with the First National Bank & Trust Company on which ...