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250 Records Found.
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Case Information
Estate of EVELYN FIRSTIN, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 2214 ST of 1985 (July 1, 2010, O'KEEFE, Adm. J.) (Issued Date June 30, 2008)

Date Rendered
7/1/2010

Judge
O'KEEFE

Case Information
Estate of STEPHEN GIRARD, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 10 DE of 1885 (June 30, 2010, O'KEEFE, Adm. J.) (Issued Date June 30, 2008)

Topic: Issue regarding a Petition to Enforce a Lease Agreement, the Validity of an Oral Lease (Statute of Frauds), the Validity of a Mining Lease Agreement, and a Claim to Damages. Issue as to whether or not a mining company has a legal right to continue to mine any property owned by the Girard Estate. This Court found that they did not, as they have no valid agreement with the Girard Estate, the last one having ended in 2002, with the Girard Estate subsequently notifying them multiple times to cease all operations. Likewise, the Mining company’s agreement with another operator is invalid due to the ambiguity of Lease terms. As such, the mining company has no right to mine based upon any agreement with said Operator. The mining company was ordered to cease all mining operations immediately and complete all reclamation activities necessary in the leased areas that it had previously mined.

Date Rendered
6/30/2010

Judge
O'KEEFE

Case Information
Estate of EDNA R. HOUCK, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 77 DE of 2008 (June 30, 2010, O'KEEFE, Adm. J.) (Issued Date June 30, 2008)

Topic: When the executrix fails to fulfill her fiduciary duty of care, the court may impose a surcharge against her to compensate the beneficiaries of an estate for loss of estate assets due to a fiduciary's failure to meet her duty of care. Here the Power of Attorney Agent and later Executrix was an employee of the Nursing Home in which the Decedent resided. In her role as Agent under the Power of Attorney and executrix of the Estate the Respondent failed to preserve and protect the property for distribution to the proper persons, as she distributed the property to herself for her own benefit. Furthermore, the Power of Attorney under which the Respondent was acting under when she misappropriated these funds was invalid on its face. Additionally, this Court found that the Respondent fiduciary's personal interest was in conflict with that of the estate, such that the two interests cannot be served simultaneously and removed her as Executrix of the Estate. The Court granted leave to the successor Executor to inititate an action against the Nursing home for negligence and improper action for allowing its employee to act as an agent under a power of attorney for a resident.

Date Rendered
6/30/2010

Judge
O'KEEFE

Case Information
Estate of Milavitch
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
531 DE of 2009 (June 7, 2010, Herron, J.)

Topic: Attorney fees - Attorney has burden of establishing the reasonableness of fees claimed under LaRocca - Fees related to a petition filed to obtain estate assets were reasonable but fees claimed for preparation of guardian ad litem petition that was never filed could not be charged to the estate - Fees incurred in responding to a petition to remove the administrator could be charged to the estate based on the specific facts

Date Rendered
6/7/2010

Judge
Herron

Case Information
ESTATE OF STANLEY T. SKALSKI, DECEASED
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 454 DE of 2007 (May 13, 2010, O'KEEFE, Adm. J.) (Issued Date June 30, 2008)

Topic: The rights of the ex-wife of the Decedent. The law specifically dictates that once the divorce decree has been entered, the right of the spouse to the distribution of marital property and other economic claims where these matters have been properly put in issue before the death of the spouse is vested. When a divorce decree directs one spouse to transfer, at some future time, his or her interests in a former marital property to the other spouse, the transferor spouse is stripped of any equitable interest he or she may have had in the property as of the time the divorce decree is issued.

Date Rendered
5/13/2010

Judge
O'KEEFE

Case Information
Evans Trust
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
680 IV of 2009 (May 12, 2010, Herron, J.)

Topic: Account/Objections - Under the terms of the decedent’s trust document which prohibited payment of compensation to any of his children for services rendered as a fiduciary, the trustee/daughter’s payments to herself for the “care” of her father and the “administration of his affairs” constituted compensation not permitted by the trust document - Documents proffered to establishment amendment of trust agreement failed to meet the requirements of 20 Pa.C.S. § 7752©

Date Rendered
5/12/2010

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Southern Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
1841 NP of 2009 (May 10, 2010, Herron, J.)

Topic: Standing/Cy Pres doctrine - Thwarted purchaser of real property lacked standing to set aside the sale of two properties on the grounds of cy pres

Date Rendered
5/10/2010

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Effie Johnson, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
1427 DE of 2008 (March 23, 2010, Herron, J.)

Topic: Joint Bank Account/Undue Influence - Objectants failed to meet their burden of proof under the Multiple Party Accounts Act, 20 Pa.C.S.§§ 6301-06, that decedent's decision to add her niece's name to her bank account was procured through undue influence

Date Rendered
3/23/2010

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Joseph Carchidi, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
443 DE of 2008 (March 9, 2010, Herron, J.)

Topic: Joint Bank Account/Ownership after death of sole contributor - Where all the funds to a joint account came exclusively from decedent, ownership of those funds after his death belonged equally to his three surviving brothers whose names had been placed on the account

Date Rendered
3/9/2010

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Joseph Carchidi, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
443 DE of 2008 (March 9, 2010, Herron, J.)

Topic: Statute of Limitations/Debt to Decedent - Where decedent gave his brother $35,000 in 1994, the claim to recover it by the executor of decedent’s estate was barred by the statute of limitations - The executor failed to present evidence to support acknowledgement doctrine reviving the $35,000 claim

Date Rendered
3/9/2010

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Regina Kirkland
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1763 IC of 2008 (Februay 18, 2010, Herron, J.)

Topic: Incapacitated Person/Removal of Guardian - Petition to Remove Guardian of Incapacitated Person Denied Where Petitioner Failed to Establish that the Incapacitated Person's Best Interests Would Be Served by Removal of Guardian - Guardian Established that the Incapacitated Person's Interests Were Better Served by the 24 Hour Care Given to Her in a Nursing Home

Date Rendered
2/18/2010

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Edward Fina
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1408 DE of 2005 (February 17, 2010, Herron, J.)

Topic: Executor de son tort - Administrator of husband's estate can be held liable for her actions prior to her official appointment where she officiously meddled with her deceased husband’s assets and the administration of his estate - Distributees of estate assets can be compelled to return them where they received more than their rightful share

Date Rendered
2/17/2010

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Boris Krichmar, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1788 DE of 2006 (February 1, 2010, O'KEEFE, Adm. J.) (Issued Date June 30, 2008)

Topic: Issues regarding the validity of a marriage in light of prior marriages and forfeiture of the right to inherit as a result of abandonment for more than 1 year. The law presumes that a marriage, under the authority of a valid marriage license, will continue until the death of one of the parties or until a divorce is proven. This presumption in favor of a valid marriage, however, can be defeated where either party at the time of such marriage had an existing spouse and the former marriage had not been annulled nor had there been a divorce. Forfeiture issue - forfeitures are not favored in the law, and the burden of proving forfeiture rests upon the heirs who assert it. Petition to Remove Administratrix for waste/ mismanagement of Estate could not be proven in the instant matter although the estate was in disarray. An Accounting was ordered.

Date Rendered
2/1/2010

Judge
O'KEEFE

Case Information
Antoinette DiStefano, Power of Attorney,
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. 1356 PR of 2009 (November 2, 2009, Herron, J.)

Topic: Preliminary Injunction/Power of Attorney & Trust – Petitioner challenging power of attorney and trust documents established a likelihood of prevailing on the merits that the principal/trustee lacked the capacity to execute those documents – The settlor’s words and comments as recorded in a videotape taken simultaneously with the execution of the trust demonstrated a fundamental lack of understanding of the nature and effect of the trust document and its delegated authority - The principal’s testimony during a hearing revealed a fundamental lack of understanding of the power of attorney she had executed where she believed, inter alia, that before the authority could be exercised, an examination by two psychiatrists was necessary

Date Rendered
11/2/2009

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Antoinette DiStefano, Intervivos Trust,
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. 1450 IV of 2009 (November 2, 2009, Herron, J.)

Topic: Preliminary Injunction/Power of Attorney & Trust – Petitioner challenging power of attorney and trust documents established a likelihood of prevailing on the merits that the principal/trustee lacked the capacity to execute those documents – The settlor’s words and comments as recorded in a videotape taken simultaneously with the execution of the trust demonstrated a fundamental lack of understanding of the nature and effect of the trust document and its delegated authority - The principal’s testimony during a hearing revealed a fundamental lack of understanding of the power of attorney she had executed where she believed, inter alia, that before the authority could be exercised, an examination by two psychiatrists was necessary

Date Rendered
11/2/2009

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Evelyn Citrino
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 587 DE of 2006 (Herron, J. 7/21/2009)

Topic: Gift Inter Vivos - Putative Donee of $466,000 in redeemed U.S. savings bonds failed to establish a prima facie case of donative intent by clear and convincing evidence - Under Dead Man's Rule, Putative Donee Was Required to Present Independent Evidence of the Gift Before He Could Testify as to that Gift

Date Rendered
7/21/2009

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of John Witherspoon, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 231 AP of 2007 (June 30, 2009, O'KEEFE, Adm. J.) (Issued Date June 30, 2008)

Topic: A wrongful death suit was filed on behalf of the Decedent against the Nursing home. After the death of the living heir to the Estate, the Attorney for the Estate was granted Letters of Administration Pendente Lite. Nursing home argued that the Attorney was not entitled to the Letters of Administration as he was not a surviving heir of decedent and are therefore is considered a “stranger” to the estate under 20 Pa.C.S. § 3155, as argued in Brokans v. Melnick. This assertion is incorrect because 20 Pa.C.S. § 3155does not apply to the appointment of an Administrator Pendente Lite. The appointment of an Administrator Pendente Lite is evaluated under 20 Pa.C.S. §3160, and not 20 Pa.C.S. § 3155(b). 20 Pa.C.S. §3160 dictates that the Register may grant letters of administration pendente lite to “any fit person”.

Date Rendered
6/30/2009

Judge
O'KEEFE

Case Information
Estate of Louise Carrie Lee, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 2110 AP of 2003 (Herron, J. 6/29/2009)

Topic: Will Contest/Undue Influence - Later Will Is Invalid as the Result of Undue Influence Where Testator Suffered from Weakened Intellect and She Was in a Confidential Relationship with the Proponent who would have received a Substantial Benefit under the Will - Proponent's Testimony Lacked Credibility Where it was Evasive, Contradictory and Admitted Failure to Alert Scrivener that Guardianship Proceedings Had Been Initiated regarding the Testator

Date Rendered
6/29/2009

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of S. McDowell Shelton, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1569 DE of 1994 (Herron, J. 6/29/2009)

Topic: Attorney/Surcharge - Attorney Is Surcharged for the Loss to the Estate of $1.6 Million due to the Transfer of Assets by His Client in Clear Violation of a Court Order - Attorney's Failure to Take Appropriate Steps to Prevent the Loss to the Estate Was a Breach of His Standard of Care

Date Rendered
6/29/2009

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of JIMMIE LEE JONES, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1622 DE of 1996 (June 24, 2009, O'KEEFE, Adm. J.) (Issued Date June 30, 2008)

Date Rendered
6/24/2009

Judge
O'KEEFE

Case Information
Estate of Catherine Kuehn
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1375 PR of 2005 (Herron, J. 5/27/2009)

Topic: Power of Attorney - Where daughter obtained Power of Attorney through undue influence exerted over her elderly mother suffering from dementia, the gifts and distributions by the agent that benefited herself and her immediate family were invalid and the Agent is surcharged

Date Rendered
5/27/2009

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Jessica Lundy, A minor
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 511 MI of 1996 (Herron, J. 4/14/2009)

Topic: Minor's Guardian/Surcharge - Fee claimed by Minor's Guardian is reduced where the guardian failed to participate actively in the administration of the minor's estate and where the services provided were routine

Date Rendered
4/14/2009

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Betty Mae Schofield
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 639 DE of 2008 (Herron, J. 3/26/2009)

Topic: Resulting Trust - Long time companion of decedent established his claim to real property where the deed was in decedent's name by satisfying the three requirements for a purchase money resulting trust - The petitioner alone had paid for the purchase of the real property, he had no intention that a resulting trust would not arise, and he was neither married nor related to the decedent whose name was on the deed of the real property at issue

Date Rendered
3/26/2009

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Trust of Christopher Young
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 255 IV of 1982 (Herron, J. 3/3/2009)

Topic: Trustee/Surcharge - Corporate Trustee is surcharged the costs of retrieving lost paintings by Charles Morris Young where it also served as Executor and failed to make an adequate inventory of those paintings at the time of decedent's death

Date Rendered
3/3/2009

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Sarah Katz, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1380 DE of 2006 (Herron, J., 2/3/2009)

Topic: Joint Bank Account/Devisavit Vel Non - Petitioner failed to present clear and convincing evidence that decedent did not intend to establish a joint account with right of survivorship at the time the certificates or accounts were created

Date Rendered
2/3/2009

Judge
Herron

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