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250 Records Found.
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Case Information
Estate of Catherine Hines
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 554 DE of /2002

Topic: Dead Man's Rule - Although the Dead Man's Rule may be waived if the Estate representative seeks discovery or testimony by a claimant, it was not waived when the Estate sought a citation to show cause why a claim should not be stricken - Since the Dead Man's Rule applies where a witness has an interest adverse to the estate, additional facts were needed to determine whether the proffered witness would personally benefit due to collusion with the claimant should he recover against the Estate

Date Rendered
9/21/2004

Judge
Herron

Case Information
PHILADELPHIA HEALTH CARE TRUST A Nonprofit Corporation
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
No. 1292 NP Of /1998

Topic: Nonprofit Corporation-Accounts per Court Decree-Petitions To Intervene-Petition Amicus Curi’-No Standing to enforce terms of Charitable Trust, Judicial Decree or applicable Laws-When Attorney General acts to protect the public interest in enforcing terms of a Charitable Trust, other Public Officers, including Councilman and Senator, do not have Standing, by virtue of their Offices, to Intervene to perform same function-Section 6110 (a) of PEF Code does not confer statutory authority to Intervene where Petitioner does not seek application of the cy pres doctrine because of alleged failure of the trust, but, instead, complains of misfeasance and malfeasance in the administration of the assets of a Charitable Trust-Petitions To Intervene Dismissed and Denied because neither Councilman or Senator is Attorney General, because neither has statutory authority to proceed in matters before Court, and, because neither has a special interest, that is, an interest other than the interest of all members of the public in compelling enforcement of the terms of the Articles of a Nonprofit Corporation.

Date Rendered
7/19/2004

Judge
O'Keefe

Case Information
Estate of JOSEPH C. NOBLIT, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
No. 579 ST of APRIL TERM 1922

Topic: Trust Under Will–Termination–Gaps in dispositive provisions of Will–One Adoption–Further Adoption of Children of First Adoptee before interests of said Children vest in enjoyment–Rules Of Statutory Construction do not apply–Children of First Adoptee were not adopted out of a Class of Beneficiaries into which they had been naturally born–Children of First Adoptee are strangers to blood of Testator–Adoption of Children of First Adoptee by Step-father, following Divorce of First Adoptee, did not take them out of Class of Beneficiaries designated in the Will of Testator, but, instead, prevented Children of First Adoptee from becoming members of said Class–Testator did not intend to benefit persons who were adopted out of the family of one who had been adopted into Testator’s family–Tafel does not require such a result, and, the Will does not express any such intent.

Date Rendered
6/18/2004

Judge
O'Keefe

Case Information
Estate of PAUL WEITZENKORN, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. NO. 591 AP of /2002

Topic: Will Contest–Appeal from Probate Dismissed–Contestant failed to present clear and convincing evidence of confidential relationship and weakened intellect–Contestant failed to present direct evidence of undue influence–Power Of Attorney did not prove existence of confidential relationship–Two estate plans drafted by two different Attorneys did not prove existence of weakened intellect–Proponent named beneficiary in prior Wills and Codicil–Proponent unaware of existence of writing in question until after death of Testator

Date Rendered
6/10/2004

Judge
O'Keefe

Case Information
Estate of Beatrice B. Peters
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 3314 DE of 1984

Topic: Intestate Heirs -Where the Commonwealth presented no evidence to rebut the claims of the putative intestate heir who presented a genealogical study and documentary evidence, the claimant established her claim as an intestate heir by clear and convincing testimony and a reasonable degree of genealogical certainty

Date Rendered
6/3/2004

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Trust of Emanuel Rosenfeld
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1664 IV of /2002

Topic: Trust/Fiduciary Duty - Under the terms of an irrevocable charitable trust agreement with three individual trustees and one corporate trustee, the corporate trustee could not be held liable for breach of fiduciary duty for failing to go to court to break a deadlock among the trustees as to diversification of assets where the trust agreement did not provide a method for breaking a deadlock - Although a corporate trustee may be held to a higher standard when it holds itself out as having expertise, the terms of the trust agreement establish the standard of care -- Where the corporate trustee urged the other trustees to diversify the trust assets, the corporate trustee could not be held liable for breach of fiduciary duty on the theory of failure to diversify

Date Rendered
5/19/2004

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Louis Baselice, affirmed and adopted, In re Estate of Louis Baselice, No. 1115 EDA 2004 (Pa. Super. October 4, 2004)
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1897 DE of /2003

Topic: Writ of Possession - After extensive litigation over the purchase of real estate in the civil trial division, an emergency petition filed in Orphans' Court to stay execution of a writ of possession by an Estate is denied as moot where the sheriff had actually executed the writ and changed the locks prior to the emergency hearing scheduled the day after the petition to stay execution was filed

Date Rendered
5/14/2004

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Earl Wallace
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1327 DE of 1994

Topic: Intestate Heirs - A fiduciary who files an account and is unable to locate heirs to an estate must make a written report of his investigation pursuant to Pennsylvania Orphans' Court Rule 13.3 - Two claimants satisfied their burden of showing that they were intestate heirs by a fair preponderance of credible evidence that was clear, precise and evident when they presented a genealogical study, census reports, birth and death certificates - Claimants recognized as intestate heirs were required to file a refunding bond under 20 Pa.C.S.A. § 3540 to protect the interests of any other heir who might appear within seven years - Executor was not entitled to attorney fees incurred in resisting the claims of the putative intestate heirs where the Commonwealth did not object to those claims

Date Rendered
3/22/2004

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Benedict LaCorte
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1855 AP of /2002

Topic: Will Contest/Standing - Assignee of the interests of decedent's children lacked standing under the analysis of Estate of Luongo, 203 Pa. Super. 171, 823 A.2d 942 (2003) where under three prior wills the children would have received smaller bequests than they were entitled to under the challenged will - The standing of the assignee is derivative of the children's standing as putative intestate heirs - As in Luongo, the practical possibility of establishing that the assignee's status as an intestate heir was virtually nil given the existence of three prior wills

Date Rendered
2/3/2004

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Estate of Anne Flaxer
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1427 DE of /2003

Topic: Account/Objections/Compensation for Services Rendered - Claim by daughter of decedent for compensation for services rendered to the decedent prior to her death was barred by 20 Pa.C.S.A. § 2701 where no writing signed by decedent was presented and where the will did not state the material provisions of a contract

Date Rendered
1/20/2004

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Marital Trust Established Under the Will of Moses Eckstein
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 33798 ST of 1961

Topic: Power of Appointment/Holographic Will - Where will of husband domiciled in Pennsylvania gave a power of appointment that was later exercised by the surviving wife in a holographic will executed in California, Pennsylvania law applied to the interpretation of whether the power was effectively exercised - Under 20 Pa.C.S.A.§2514(13), the wife effectively exercised the power of appointment where she made general devise in her holographic will even though the specific devise to her daughter lapsed when the daughter predeceased her without heirs - The testator expressed her intent to make a general devise when she stated the intent to "give all my estate as follows" - The objectors failed to meet their burden of showing a contrary intent

Date Rendered
12/12/2003

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Hyman Bevitz (Decedent) vs Ray Volusher (Respondent)
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
371 DE of 2002 Control no. 020548

Topic: ANTENUPTIAL AGREEMENT, DIVISION OF MARITAL PROPERTY, Affirmed by Superior Court 2638 EDA 2003.

Date Rendered
6/20/2003

Judge
O'Keefe

Case Information
Estate of Benedict J. LaCorte
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1855 AP of /2002

Topic: Will Contest/Standing/Marriage Contested - The children of decedent lacked standing to contest a will under which they were given more than under the will they were invoking - Under 20 Pa.C.S.A. §908(a), a party seeking to challenge a will must show that they are aggrieved and have a pecuniary interest that is injured by the Register of Will's decree - Statutory standing is jurisdictional and hence may be raised at any time by the court sua sponte - A challenge to the marriage of decedent based on undue influence was not viable because it must be raised by a party to that marriage which is impossible if one of the spouses is dead - Allegations that the Will was procured by undue influence were sufficient to withstand a demurrer where it was alleged that the decedent had suffered from Alzheimer's disease and that he had depended on respondent's care in personal and financial matters

Date Rendered
5/30/2003

Judge
Herron

Case Information
Kathryn Krzaczek, a minor v. Stewart Cooler, et al. October 1996, No. 1758, aff'd, Krzaczek, a minor v. Stewart Cooler, et al., 1366 EDA 2003 (Pa.Super. December 31, 2003), app. denied, 163 EAL (Pa. July 21, 2004)
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1758 of 1996

Topic: Minor's Compromise - Where parents consented to a high/low agreement on the record before a trial judge and subsequently filed a petition with the Orphans' Court, their high/low agreement assuring a recovery of $250,000 with a limit of $950,000 was enforceable even though the jury returned a verdict of $15,000,000 in favor of the minor in a medical malpractice case - Court approval is necessary under Pa. Rule of Civil Procedure 2039 for a high/low agreement affecting the recovery of a minor - A fundamental purpose of Rule 2039 is to assure that the interests of a minor are protected above conflicting interests - The coordinate jurisdiction rule precludes judges of coordinate jurisdiction from overruling each other's decisions in the same case

Date Rendered
5/22/2003

Judge
Herron

Case Information
ESTATE OF CARMEN DiCESARE
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
No. 83 of /2001

Topic: ITF ACCOUNT, JOINT AND SEVERAL LIABILITY, BANK'S LIABILITY EMPLOYEES' ACTS - RESPONDEAT SUPERIOR, Affirmed by Superior Court.

Date Rendered
5/5/2003

Judge
O'Keefe

Case Information
Estate of KATE R. AVERY CLARK
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
#4 April 2002 Control No. 020400 No. 174 IV of 1953

Topic: Contingent Reversionary Interest in a Trust; "Gaps" in deed failing to provide for subsequent factual contingencies; No implied gift by Necessary Implication; "Recital" as an effective and irrevocable assignment by Settlor of Retained Reversionary Interest in principal. Affirmed by Superior Court

Date Rendered
5/1/2003

Judge
O'Keefe

Case Information
Geraldine Woodie, et al. vs City of Philadelphia
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 2010

Topic: Parental ABANDONMENT of child; Burden: parent attempting to prove abandonment, HW parent accused of abandonment must first prove MINIMUM CONTACTS with child, otherwise ABANDONMENT PRESUMED

Date Rendered
3/24/2003

Judge
O'Keefe

Case Information
OLGA ADLER an Incapacitated Person
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
No. 1144IC of /2001

Topic: ESTATE PLANNING FOR IC after ADJUDICATION, "BEST INTERESTS of IC"

Date Rendered
3/19/2003

Judge
O'Keefe

Case Information
CHURCH OF ST. JAMES THE LESS
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
953NP OF /2001

Topic: EPISCOPAL CHURCH HIERARCHY; INVALID CORPORATE MERGER OF NONPROFIT CORP.; LEGAL TITLE to CHURCH PROPERTY w/Standing Committee and diocesan Bishop, affirmed by Cmwlth Ct, Appealed to Pa. Supreme Ct.

Date Rendered
3/10/2003

Judge
O'Keefe

Case Information
Estate of Anna Karbiwnyk, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 666 DE of /1998

Topic: Writs of Attachment; "obdurate, vexatious and bad faith conduct"; Failure to respond to Petition to Sell Real Estate precludes objections to related commissions and fees.

Date Rendered
12/2/2002

Judge
O'Keefe

Case Information
In re Estate of Frank R. Misko, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
10/10DE of 1993

Topic: Orphans' Court power to enforce admin. agency ruling; Settlement Agreements (SA) favored; SA governed by Contract Law; valid SA requires all elements of valid contract; PA courts look to the writing in strictly interpreting settlement agreement.

Date Rendered
1/14/2002

Judge
O'Keefe

Case Information
Angel Carter, Administratrix of the Estate of William Carter, Jr., Deceased vs SEPTA and Ronald Koran
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
October 1999 No. 2428

Topic: Joint General Ct. Reg. 97-1: O.C. determines reasonable fee; Trial Cts. empowered to 2nd guess contingent fee agreement (fees and costs); Appellate Cts. limited power to review Trial Cts. fees and cost allocation. Procedural defects: Prevailing party not aggrieved for purposes of appeal, no standing; Aggrieved counsel must appeal in counsel's name, not non-aggrieved party's name. ETHICAL ISSUE: 1988 Sup.Ct. reprimanded same firm on same issue now on appeal.

Date Rendered
12/20/2001

Judge
O'Keefe

Case Information
Francis Rutter (Petitioner) vs Harry Hardy (Respondent)
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
63PR of /2001

Topic: Confidential relationship - admitted (POA), burden shifts to POA to demonstrate, by cc evidence, that transfers without taint of undue influence or deception.

Date Rendered
12/19/2001

Judge
O'Keefe

Case Information
Estate of Bernhard S. Blumenthal, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 646 DE of /1999

Topic: Exceptions; Ante-Nuptial Agreement; Life Insurance beneficiary; plain meaning, clear & unambiguous language; extrinsic evidence; right to argue judicial error; tolling statute of limitations.

Date Rendered
5/25/2001

Judge
O'Keefe

Case Information
Estate of Susie N. Cain, Deceased
Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division
O.C. No. 1541DE of 1995

Topic: En banc - Exceptions; No error, issue not raised in proceedings; No Standing to pursue Exceptions

Date Rendered
5/12/2001

Judge
O'Keefe

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