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250 Records Found.
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Case Information
S.McDowell Shelton, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1569 DE of 1994 (December 31, 2008, Herron, J.) (Issued Date June 30, 2008)

Topic: Surcharge/Removal of Fiduciary - Executor who distributed assets of an estate in knowing violation of a 1999 court order was surcharged the amount distributed so that the estate could be restored to its status quo and the accounts could be properly adjudicated - Executor was removed as a threat to the proper administration of the estate due to his refusal to adhere to court order

Date Rendered
12/31/2008

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Robert W. Ryerrs, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 36 DE of 1896 (December 9, 2008, Herron, J.)

Topic: Park Dedicated for Public Purpose - Petition by City to lease 19.4 acres of viable park land that was dedicated for the ”use and enjoyment of the people forever” by Ordinance and Will is Denied Under the Public Trust Doctrine and Relevant PEF Code Provisions

Date Rendered
12/9/2008

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Robert W. Ryerrs, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 36 DE of 1896 (August 25, 2008, Herron, J.)

Topic: Standing - Where City sought to lease public parkland pursuant to the Inalienable Property Act, 20 Pa.C.S. §§ 8301-8306 for construction of hospital buildings, taxpayers had standing to intervene

Date Rendered
8/25/2008

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Stuart David Fiel, Testamentary Trust
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 557 IV of 2002 (August 18, 2008, Herron, J.)

Topic: Attorney Fees - Trustee may recover from the Trust for attorney fees incurred in a surcharge defense - Attorney fees relating to the sale of decedent's property did not constitute surcharge defense charges - Where expert witness and his report did not address surcharge issues, his fees cannot be charged to the Trust

Date Rendered
8/18/2008

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Lewis Elkin, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 270 ST of JULY TERM 1902 (June 30, 2008, O'KEEFE, Adm. J.) (Issued Date June 30, 2008)

Topic: Objections to Accounts of Trustee of Perpetual Charitable Trust which is Private Foundation -- Trustee's Corporate Predecessor served as Executor of Decedent's Estate, and, received Commissions, on Principal, for services as Executor -- Trustee's Corporate Predecessor then served as Trustee Under Will -- Claims for Trustee's Compensation, for ordinary services, are Denied -- No factual Record made to support Claims for Trustee's Compensation -- See In Re Ischy Trust, Etc., 490 Pa. 71 (1980); Estate of Lux, 480 Pa. 256 (1978); Conti Estate, 8 Fiduc Rep 2d 272 (O.C., Phila., 1988); Preston Estate, 385 Pa.SuperiorCt. 48 (1989); Sonovick Estate, 373 Pa.SuperiorCt. 396 (1988); Reed Estate, 462 Pa. 336 (1975); and, Scott Estate, 34 D.&C.2d 727 (1965) -- Claims for Trustee's Compensation are excessive and unreasonable in light of Breaches of Fiduciary Duty -- See Estate of Geniviva, 450 Pa.SuperiorCt. 54 (1996) -- Claims for Trustee's Compensation are barred by decisions in the matters of Williamson Estate, 368 Pa. 343 (1951); Scott Estate, 418 Pa. 332 (1965); and, Ehret Estate, 427 Pa. 584 (1967) -- former Section 7185 (b) of the PEF Code, as amended by the Act of February 18, 1982, P.L. 45, No. 26; Section 7768 of the Uniform Trust Act, as enacted by the Act of July 7, 2006, P.L. 625, No. 98; and, Section 8113 of the PEF Code, may not be applied retroactively to allow the Claims for Trustee's Compensation -- Argument that Trustee made a "deemed" election, under Section 8113 of the PEF Code, is Rejected - Trustee never made any election, "actual" or "deemed", under Section 8113

Date Rendered
6/30/2008

Judge
O'KEEFE

Case Information
Estate of Anna E. Fridenberg, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 261 ST of 1941 (June 30, 2008, O'KEEFE, Adm. J.) (Issued Date June 30, 2008)

Topic: Objection to Account of Trustee of Perpetual Charitable Trust which is not a Private Foundation -- Trustee's Corporate Predecessor served as Executor of Decedent's Estate, and, received Commissions, on Principal, for services as Executor -- Trustee's Corporate Predecessor then served as Trustee Under Will -- Objection of Attorney General, to payments of Trustee's Commissions, on Principal, for ordinary services, is Sustained because such payments are barred by decisions in the matters of Williamson Estate, 368 Pa. 343 (1951); Scott Estate, 418 Pa. 332 (1965); and, Ehret Estate, 427 Pa. 584 (1967) -- it would be unconstitutional, under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, to apply retroactively any statute which repeals the prohibition on the same individual receiving Commissions on Principal, as both Executor and Trustee, which prohibition existed under the 1917 Act -- former Section 7185 (b) of the PEF Code, as amended by the Act of February 18, 1982, P.L. 45, No. 26, and, Section 7768 of the Uniform Trust Act, as enacted by the Act of July 7, 2006, P.L. 625, No. 98, may not be applied retroactively to permit the challenged payments of Trustee's Commissions, on Principal, for ordinary services

Date Rendered
6/30/2008

Judge
O'KEEFE

Case Information
Estate of Ednamay Clark, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 590 AP of 2002 (June 30, 2008, O'KEEFE, Adm. J.) (Issued Date June 30, 2008)

Topic: A writing cannot be deemed a valid codicil where there exists a lack of testamentary capacity and where the writing was a product of undue influence.

Date Rendered
6/30/2008

Judge
O'KEEFE

Case Information
Estate of Rita R. Mallon, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1443 DE of 2006 (June 30, 2008, O'KEEFE, Adm. J.) (Issued Date June 30, 2008)

Topic: In a challenge to a decedent’s lifetime gifts, despite the existence of a trusting relationship and substantial benefit, one cannot prove a confidential relationship where there is clear and convincing evidence that the gifts were freely, voluntarily and intelligently made, and, were not the product of undue influence.

Date Rendered
6/30/2008

Judge
O'KEEFE

Case Information
Estate of Amelia Watson a/k/a Amelia M. Watson, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 738 DE of 2007 (June 30, 2008, O'KEEFE, Adm. J.) (Issued Date June 30, 2008)

Topic: One who holds both an interest in real estate and possesses a right to occupy does not bear sole responsibility for necessary payments towards the real estate. All individuals who have an interest are responsible for necessary payments such as real estate taxes, fire insurance and liability insurance. However, personal expenses or user fees are the responsibility of those who possess a right to occupy.

Date Rendered
6/30/2008

Judge
O'KEEFE

Case Information
Estate of Charles W. Graham, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1637 DE of 2005 (June 30, 2008, O'KEEFE, Adm. J.) (Issued Date June 30, 2008)

Topic: The appropriate standard in challenging the decedent’s signature on a document other than a will is by a preponderance of the evidence. The decedent’s signature on an Insurance Designation of Beneficiary Form was found to be a forgery and as such, the claimant was not entitled to the policy funds.

Date Rendered
6/30/2008

Judge
O'KEEFE

Case Information
Estate of Easby
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1363 AP of 2006 (June 25, 2008, Herron, J.)

Topic: Will Contest - Challenge to Will Dismissed Where Proponent Established Lack of Undue Influence Based on his Longterm, Loving Homosexual Relationship with Decedent Who Was Not Isolated From Friends or Family

Date Rendered
6/25/2008

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Matthews Charitable Trust
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1444 IV of 2007 (April 30, 2008, Herron, J.)

Topic: Trust Agreement - Terms of trust agreement control to give Trustees discretion to determine distribution of income and principal where designated beneficiary fails to meet requirements under IRS - Distributions to Chestnut Hill Hospital were properly directed to the other designated beneficiaries after the hospital ceased existing as a charitable organization after its sale

Date Rendered
5/30/2008

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Fina
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1408 DE of 2005 (April 28, 2008, Herron, J.)

Topic: Account/Fraudulent - Where account failed to include all estate assets and testimony is confused or conflicting as to extent of cash assets, the account cannot be confirmed and will be returned unaudited - Philadelphia orphans' court lacks jurisdiction over disposition of decedent's real property located in New Jersey

Date Rendered
5/28/2008

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Katie King
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1619 DE of 2006 (April 7, 2008, Herron, J.)

Topic: Surcharge/Executor - Beneficiaries failed to meet their burden of proof that executor's account failed to include $50,000 in security assets where the record established valid expenditure of those assets necessary for the care of decedent after she suffered a stroke

Date Rendered
5/7/2008

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Mary Nedwood, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 807 DE of 2006 (March 3, 2008, Herron, J.)

Topic: Estate Administration/Sale of Real Property - Administrator of Estate had authority to sell deceased wife's property under Section 3351 of the PEF code - That sale could not be set aside on the grounds of inadequate price absent fraud which was not shown - Plaintiffs failed to establish that buyer had confidential relationship with the administrator or that the sale was the result of undue influence - A contract signed by an alcoholic when he is sober is not void

Date Rendered
3/3/2008

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Clifton and Mary Byer Trust
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 180 IV of 2004 (October 15, 2007, Herron, J.)

Topic: Trust Agreement - The settlor's intent is the polestar for interpreting unambiguous terms- Where the terms of a trust agreement are ambiguous, extrinsic testimony as to the settlor's intent may be considered - Trust provisions imposing costs on challenge by a beneficiary would not apply to a trustee seeking clarification of ambiguous terms

Date Rendered
10/15/2007

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Elizabeth Janiga
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
370 DE of 2007 (September 10, 2007, Herron, J.)

Topic: Executor Commission/Good faith reliance on counsel defense - Where final distribution to charitable beneficiaries was delayed without reason by 2 years after distribution to individual beneficiaries including the executor, the executor's commission was reduced by half. Executor could not rely on the good faith reliance on counsel defense where she failed to establish that her reliance on counsel was reasonable and prudent in light of the unexplained delay in distribution to the charitable beneficiaries

Date Rendered
9/10/2007

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Isaiah Williamston vs Interstate Collision & Towing Inc., a/k/a Interstate Towing a/k/a Interstate Collision Experts, Inc.
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
January 2005, No. 2553 (July 30, 2007, Herron, J.)

Topic: Minor's Compromise/DPW Lien - Motion to avoid DPW Lien was untimely when filed 9 Months after settlement agreement was approved by court order with parental consent - Arkansas DHS v. Ahlborn, 547 U.S. 268 (2006) does not preclude a lien by the DPW based on payments for medical care

Date Rendered
7/30/2007

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Hydock
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 42 DE of 1992 (July 11, 2007, Herron, J.)

Topic: Surcharge/Recovery of Attorney Fees from Opposing Counsel - Intestate heir could recover from opposing counsel the attorney fees he incurred to set aside his disclaimer of interest in his deceased son's estate where the opposing counsel participated in a obdurate, vexatious scheme with his client to deprive petitioner of his rightful claim as sole intestate heir

Date Rendered
7/11/2007

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Louise Baselice, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1897 DE of 2003 (July 2, 2007, Herron, J.)

Topic: Executor Commission - As a fiduciary, an executor has the responsibility to charge reasonable compensation given the nature of the responsibilities rendered and level of expertise required - Executor could not claim the same hourly rate for cleaning services as for legal services-Compensation cannot be claimed for unwarranted services

Date Rendered
7/2/2007

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Trust Established Under the Will of Peter Hallahan, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 153 ST of 1922 (July 2, 2007 Herron, J.)

Topic: Adoption/Adults - The presumption that an adopted child should be considered as a natural child for the purposes of a bequest under a will does not apply where the adoptee is an adult - It is necessary to establish an earlier parent/child relationship and that the adoption was not for the purpose of securing an inheritance.

Date Rendered
7/2/2007

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Residuary Trust Under Will of George M. Rintz
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1652 ST of 2006 (June 19, 2007 Herron, J.)

Topic: Spendthrift Provision/Bankruptcy - Claims of bankruptcy trustee against heir to decedent's estate raise complex issue of concurrent state/federal jurisdiction - Under the "spendthrift provision" of the Federal Bankruptcy Code, 11 U.S.C. § 541(c)(2), a spendthrift trust that is viable under relevant state law would not fall within the bankruptcy estate- Pennsylvania courts recognize valid spendthrift trust to protect the settlor's intent

Date Rendered
6/19/2007

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Stuart D. Fiel Trust
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 557 IV of 2002 (June 4, 2007, Herron, J.)

Topic: Surcharge/Continued Operation of Decedent's Business - Executor/Trustee cannot be surcharged for continuing to operate the decedent's personal injury law practice for nearly 15 months where the will gave executor the broad discretion to conduct his business subject to ethical constraints

Date Rendered
6/4/2007

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Benjamin Glassman
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 138 De of 2006 (April 17, 2007 Herron, J.)

Topic: Spousal Election/In Personam Jurisdiction - Where decedent's son pursuant to a power of attorney that invoked Pennsylvania law canceled his father's lease in Philadelphia, he was purposefully availing himself of the privilege of conducting activities within the state, thereby invoking its benefits and protections - Pennsylvania long arm statute provides for jurisdiction over persons accepting and exercising powers within the Commonwealth as a fiduciary under 42 Pa.C.S. §5322(a)(7)(iii)-By exercising his authority pursuant to the power of attorney, the decedent's son was on notice that he could be hauled into a Pennsylvania court where decedent's widow filed a petition to enforce her rights as an electing spouse under 20 Pa.C.S. §2201 - Pennsylvania courts have a profound interest in adjudicating the issue of a resident's right of spousal election

Date Rendered
5/17/2007

Judge
Herron

Case Information
The Trustees of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, Inc.
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1134 NP of 2006 (April 16, 2007, Herron, J.)

Topic: Interlocutory Appeal/Nonprofit Corporation/Coordinate Jurisdiction Rule - Order denying petition to recuse arbitrator appointed by agreement approved by a Judge in the Civil Trial Division is interlocutory - Where 10 year litigation over Church and Nonprofit corporation assets in the Civil Trial Division was resolved by agreement to arbitrate, the petition to recuse the arbitrator should have been filed with the appropriate judge in the Civil Trial Division and not initiated as a new matter before the Orphans' Court Division

Date Rendered
5/16/2007

Judge
Herron

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