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ESTATE MARTHA DARLINGTON (06/18/87)

filed: June 18, 1987.

IN RE ESTATE OF MARTHA DARLINGTON, DECEASED. APPEAL OF JARED DARLINGTON. IN RE ESTATE OF JESSE DARLINGTON, DECEASED. APPEAL OF JARED DARLINGTON, EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF JESSE DARLINGTON


Appeal from the Order Entered on September 23, 1986,*fn* in the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, Orphans' Court Division, at No. 449 of 1981. Appeal from the Order Entered on September 23, 1986,*fn** in the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, Orphans' Court Division, No. 683 of 1983.

COUNSEL

William D. March, Media, for appellant.

Popovich, Johnson and Hester, JJ.

Author: Hester

[ 364 Pa. Super. Page 76]

Martha Darlington died intestate on June 11, 1979. The issue on appeal is whether she died owning a one-fourth interest in a 187 acre tract of land in Darling, Pennsylvania, known as the Darlington Farm, or whether she had transferred her interest in that farm inter vivos to Jared Darlington, her nephew. The auditing judge found that the deed transferring her interest in the property to Jared had not been delivered to him and held that she therefore owned her interest in the property at her death. As we conclude that this finding is supported by competent evidence, we affirm.

Martha died the record owner of a one-fourth interest in the Darlington Farm. Shortly after her death, a handwritten document was discovered in her desk; it read:

I sold my interest in the Home Farm to Jared W. Darlington on his 40th birthday for one dollar ($1.00).

/s/ Martha Darlington

[ 364 Pa. Super. Page 77]

The desk was located in a home on the Farm occupied solely by Martha, and the document was discovered by the following members of the Darlington family: Martha's brother, Jesse, and his wife; Jesse's son, Jared, the grantee, and his wife; and Jesse's other son, Jesse M., and his wife. It had never been physically transferred to Jared.

Martha's estate was distributable on the date of her death as follows:

One-third to Jesse Darlington, her brother;

One-third to three nieces and five grandnieces, issue ...


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