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In re Kimmel’s Estate

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
123 A. 405 (1924)


On the morning of the same day that he died, the decedent sent a letter to his sons, George and Irvin (defendants), discussing various matters, including the upcoming winter weather which he expected to be very bad. He expressed his concern that he may not be able to visit George and Irvin due to the bad weather and told them he would write again to tell them whether he could travel. After explaining this, the letter stated, “I have some very valuable papers I want you to keep fore me so if enny thing happens” all of decedent’s real and personal property would go to his sons George, Darl, and Irvin. The letter further instructed George and Irvin to “[keep] this letter lock it up it may help you.” The entire letter was handwritten in the decedent’s handwriting and was signed, “Father.” At the time of writing the letter, the decedent had been sick and had missed some days of work. The orphan’s court directed the Register of Wills to admit the letter to probate and one of decedent’s heirs (plaintiff) appealed the decision of the orphan’s court.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Simpson, J.)

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