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250 Records Found.
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Case Information
Rose Kogen Trust
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1787 IV of 2004 (May 14, 2007, Herron, J.)

Topic: Trustee/Breach of Fiduciary Duty - Trustee engaged in self-dealing when he used $900,000 in trust funds to purchase convertible debentures or unsecured loans in a company in which he had strong personal stakes as president/managing director as well as economic links to his family trust - This transaction is voidable under Section 7772(b) of the Pa. Uniform Trust Act - The trustee's alleged gift of stock to a charitable beneficiary was invalid due to lack of donative intent "then and there" or delivery

Date Rendered
5/14/2007

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Ennis Allen and Alberta Manson Allen, Deed of Trust aff’d., Twana R. Cisse nee Twana Ray Allen v. Jordon, Exec. Estate of Alberta Allen, Deceased, No. 3411 EDA 2006 and No. 3489 EDA of 2006 (Pa. Super. 10/24/2007).
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 665 IV of 2006 (January 26, 2007, Herron, J.)

Topic: Trustee/Appointment -Under Section 7764 of the Pennsylvania Uniform Trust Act, court may appoint substitute trustee where the trust document is silent on this issue and the beneficiaries do not agree - Where deed created a trust for petitioner's lifetime only and provided that upon her death the property would revert to the settlor, petitioner lacked authority to sell the property where deed gave such authority to the trustee

Date Rendered
1/26/2007

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Mary Nedwood
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 807 DE of 2006 (January 18, 2007, Herron, J.)

Topic: Estate Administration/Sale of Property - Sale of real property by administrator of estate cannot be set aside based on low price absent fraud -- Heirs presented a viable claim for fraud/conspiracy against the purchasers of the estate real property based on allegation that they induced the administrator to obtain letters of administration through misrepresentation to the Register of Wills that he was the sole heir-- Heirs did not present viable claim of negligence against title company in the sale of estate real property due to failure to establish a duty owed to them

Date Rendered
1/18/2007

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Ronald A. White
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 308 DE of 2005 (December 4, 2006, Herron, J.)

Topic: Attorney Fees/Insolvent Estate - Attorney fees incurred in the administration of an insolvent estate take preference over claims of the United States government for delinquent taxes despite federal insolvency statute 11 USC §3713-Such attorney fees are the result of liabilities that arise under law and not by the request of the decedent-Insolvent estates require legal services and an attorney should not be required to gamble his fee in providing those services

Date Rendered
12/4/2006

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Trust Established Under the Will of Charles S. Child, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 3055 ST of 1929 (November 7, 2005, Herron, J.)

Topic: Testamentary Trust/Interpretation -- The distribution of trust principal at the time of the termination of a trust created by a will must be determined according to the testator's intent as expressed by the language of the will and its distributive scheme - The express words of the will convey the intent that the testator's two nephews whose specific names are set forth and underlined should be the defining point for the division and distribution first of income and then of principal

Date Rendered
11/7/2006

Judge
Herron

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

Topic: Spousal Elective Share - Issues of fact concerning decedent's domicile and intent require additional evidence for determination of subject matter jurisdiction - Under Pennsylvania Law, Joint Bank Accounts are subject to Spousal Election Under 20 Pa.C.S. §2203

Date Rendered
8/17/2006

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Mary and Emanuel Rosenfeld Foundation Trust
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1664 IV of 2002, (July 31, 2006, Herron, J.)

Topic: Trustee/ Surcharge and Removal - Trustee of a charitable trust may be removed and surcharged for breach of fiduciary duty due to a conflict of interest between the charitable beneficiaries and the Trustee's company, resulting in an obdurate refusal to consider selling the company's stock -Trust document did not authorize unfettered retention of stock nor did it waive a conflict of interest - where investment decisions of trustees are challenged contemporaneously rather than retrospectively at time of accounting, damages should be calculated from the date of the alleged breach of fiduciary duty - Attorney Fee petition of corporate trustee is reasonable and is charged against the breaching trustees

Date Rendered
7/31/2006

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Flora Lee Gregory, An Incapacitated Person
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1265 IC of 2005 (May 31, 2005, Herron, J.)

Topic: Incapacitated Person/Attorney Retainer Agreement -- Attorney Fixed Retainer Agreement was void due to client's incapacity so that counsel fees should be awarded instead on a quantum meruit basis

Date Rendered
5/31/2006

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Trust Established Under Trust Agreement of Sidney B. Golub and Frances Golub, Settlors
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 620 IV of 2004 (March 31, 2005, Herron, J.)

Topic: Trust Accounting/Standing - In filing its account for a trust, Trustee has standing to raise the issue of the alleged improper use of a power of attorney by the beneficiary of the estate where the assets of the estate would pour over into the Trust - The mere fact that the Trust Agreement immunizes the Trustee from liability for any actions through the power of attorney does not negate the Trustee's standing or duty to properly administer the trust according to its terms - Orphans' Court has subject matter jurisdiction to consider whether the advancement to a beneficiary was proper - The Executor of the Estate must raise the issue of whether the power of attorney granted by decedent was misused by her agent - The issues raised by the Trustee must therefore be coordinated with the action of the Executor

Date Rendered
3/31/2006

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Joseph Edward Hydock, III, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 42 DE of 1992 (February 22, 2006, Herron, J.)

Topic: Disclaimer - Disclaimer to Interest in Decedent's Estate Should Be Set Aside Where Petitioner Presented Clear and Convincing Evidence that the Fiduciary of His Son's Estate Procured Petitioner's Disclaimer by Fraud and the Disclaimer Itself Was Inherently Fraudulent in Designating Certain Beneficiaries as Petitioner's Children

Date Rendered
2/22/2006

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Marie Lista
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O. C. No. 1474 AP of 2003 (January 27, 2006, Herron, J.)

Topic: Will Contest - Contestant did not meet his burden of showing by clear and convincing evidence that his Aunt's will was the result of undue influence where he failed to show that she suffered from weakened intellect - The testimony and evidence by testator's nurse, occupational therapist and physical therapist consistently characterized testator as alert and oriented though physically infirm-The parties agreed that testator had asked the contestant to contact an attorney to draft a will for her but contestant failed to do so-The attorney who drafted the challenged will testified that he had no reason to question testator's mental capacity

Date Rendered
1/27/2006

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Charlie M’ Moore Brown, Deceased, Inter Vivos Trust
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1435 IV of 2003 (December 29, 2005 Herron, J.)

Topic: Trust/Declaratory Judgment - To determine whether settlor's assets were transferred to her trust by a general assignment, each type of asset must be analyzed in terms of the language of the relevant documents - Title to an automobile was not transferred to the trust where the certificate of title was in the joint names of the settlor and her son - Joint bank accounts were not transferred to the trust - Settlor's residence was transferred to the trust where the assignment satisfied the statute of frauds by referring to all the settlor's real property - Life insurance policies were not transferred to the trust where no effort was made to change the beneficiary forms

Date Rendered
12/29/2005

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Trust under Deed of Edward Woolman, Settlor
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1364 IV of /2004

Topic: Trust/Irrevocable Inter Vivos - Where deed of trust failed to provide for eventuality that settlor's daughter might die without issue, a resulting trust arose and the trustee holds the principal for the settlor's estate - Alternatively, under section 6102 of the PEF Code, where a trust fails in its original purpose to benefit the settlor's daughter's issue because the daughter died without having children, the trust assets should nonetheless be distributed as nearly as possible in accordance with the settlor's intent as gleaned from the deed of trust and related will

Date Rendered
10/27/2005

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Raheem D. Johnson, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1329 AP 2004 (September 13, 2005, O'KEEFE, J.)

Topic: FORFEITURE: Parental abandonment of adult child; Appeal from decree of the Register of Wills denying Letters of Administration to mother of adult decedent; Whether the Forfeiture Statute, 20 Pa.C.S. § 2106(b), applies where the decedent is an adult as opposed to a minor.

Date Rendered
9/13/2005

Judge
O'KEEFE

Case Information
Greek Orthodox Kathedrikos of Saint George
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 410 NP of /2005

Topic: Jurisdiction/Subject Matter - Orphans' Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to resolve dispute over election of parish council members and officers where the articles of incorporation of the nonprofit corporation provide that it is subject to the rules of the hierarchical Greek Archdiocese of America and the Metropolitan, as the highest judicatory body authorized to ratify a parish council election, has rendered his decision as to the election's validity

Date Rendered
8/22/2005

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Louis Baselice
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1897 De of /2003

Topic: Will Interpretation - Where will expresses a "wish" and "desire" that the Executor allow a particular individual a right of first refusal to buy a piece of property, this is precatory language not binding on the Executor

Date Rendered
8/22/2005

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Elnora Cooper, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1681 of /2004

Topic: Will Contest/Unexecuted Will - Where petitioner challenges a decree of the Register of Wills for granting letters of administration but fails to raise that issue in the first instance with the Register of Wills, the appeal to the Orphans' Court must be dismissed. After Discovered Will - If a will is discovered more than 3 months after decedent's death, under section 3138 of the PEF code, the Register no longer has authority to open a probate record so that appellant must appeal to Orphans' court to determine whether record should be opened but not the validity of the will - Appellant in this case could not make a prima facie case where the will was unexecuted

Date Rendered
8/1/2005

Judge
Herron

Case Information
PATRICIA WILLIAMS, Administratrix of the Estate of JOSHUA CALEB WALKER, DECEASED vs ATLANTIC EXPRESS INC. of PA and JEAN L. JOSEPH
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
October Term 2000 No. 001873 (O'KEEFE, J.) (07/20/05 - 9 Pages)

Topic: Intestate heirs - Siblings who were adopted out of the family prior to their sibling’s death maintained their intestate right of inheritance from their deceased sibling’s estate despite their prior adoption; a fact bound inquiry concluded that a family relationship was maintained pursuant to 20 Pa. C.S.A. §2108 between the prior adopted siblings and the deceased sibling. Accordingly, the prior adopted siblings take as part of a class of siblings under intestacy pursuant to 20 Pa. C.S.A. §2103(3).

Date Rendered
7/20/2005

Judge
O'KEEFE

Case Information
Estate of Willa M’ Hampton Cooper, an Incapacitated Person
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 480 IC of /1998

Topic: Surcharge/Guardian/Incapacitated Person - Guardian of Incapacitated Person surcharged for negligently delegating investment functions - While investment functions may be delegated by a fiduciary, section 7206 of the PEF code requires the fiduciary to exercise reasonable care, skill and caution in selecting the agent and monitoring his performance-Where guardian failed to establish the scope and terms of the investment functions she delegated or to monitor the agent's subsequent performance, she was surcharged for this neglect.

Date Rendered
6/7/2005

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Catherine Hines, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
554 DE of 2002 (April 25, 2005, Herron, J.)

Topic: Quantum Meruit/Decedent's Estate - Longtime companion of decedent established his claim for quantum meruit repayment for services rendered to her during her lifetime - The obligation to repay the claimant for services rendered was not rebutted where the claimant was neither a family member nor married to decedent - claimant did not present adequate evidence to support his quantum meruit claim for the period during which decedent had been hospitalized

Date Rendered
4/25/2005

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Rose Kornberg, an Incapacitated Person
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 333 IC of /2002

Topic: Guardian Fees/Incapacitated Person - Guardian fees should be evaluated against a standard of what is fair and reasonable in the context of such factors as the amount of work performed, the character of services rendered, and the difficulty of the problems involved - Guardian fees for an incapacitated person should be premised on a moderate scale - The size of an incapacitated person's estate is another factor to consider - Where the services performed by a guardian are routine and ministerial, the higher fees charged for more specialized legal services would not be appropriate

Date Rendered
2/17/2005

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Fannie Stafford, a/k/a Fannie M. Stafford, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 530 AP of /2002

Topic: Will Contest/Undue Influence - Petitioner established by clear and convincing evidence that the contested will had been procured through undue influence where, inter alia, the attorney who drafted the will never met with the decedent/testator nor discussed its terms with her but had been employed by the main beneficiary under the will - The beneficiary was in a confidential relationship with the decedent, she received a substantial benefit under the will and the testator suffered from weakened intellect - The proponent failed to rebut the resulting presumption of undue influence when no testimony by the scrivener of the will was presented.

Date Rendered
1/13/2005

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Joseph D'Alessio
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1997 DE of 1244

Topic: Joint Bank Account/Objections to Account - Objectors to account failed to meet their burden to overcome the presumption of survivorship in a joint bank account - Pennsylvania law relating to joint bank accounts changed with the passage of 20 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 6301-6306 - The statute creates a presumption that any money remaining in a joint bank account after the death of a party to that account belongs to the survivor - In determining ownership of the joint account, the statute favors the survivor over the decedent's estate

Date Rendered
11/23/2004

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Maria Crudele
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 619 IV of /2004

Topic: Trust/Termination - Where settlors in their deed of real property expressed the intent to hold the property in trust, they created a testamentary trust rather than an inter vivos trust vested in the beneficiaries when the settlors reserved the right to revoke the trust, they maintained a life interest in the property with broad discretion to convey it, and they named themselves as trustees with active duties - Where the surviving settlor subsequently executed a will that specifically bequeathed the real property, the testamentary trust was terminated

Date Rendered
11/18/2004

Judge
Herron

Case Information
ESTATE OF JEAN McCOLLIGAN
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
No. 574 DE of /1999

Date Rendered
11/10/2004

Judge
O'Keefe

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