Duquesne Law Review


Henry S. Perkin


The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has held that an execution sale of a slayer's jointly held property constitutes a severance of the joint tenancy and the buyer at such sale takes a fee interest in the property purchased free from the right of survivorship which had previously existed in the decedent's estate.

Larendon Estate, 439 Pa. 535, 266 A.2d 763 (1970).

Robert B. Dalton and John R. Larendon, the decedent, purchased and took title to certain tracts of land in Chester County, Pennsylvania as joint tenants with the right of survivorship. On December 7, 1960, Larendon was murdered by Dalton; a conviction followed. After Larendon's death, but prior to conviction, a judgment was entered against Dalton, the accused murderer. This judgment was executed and the appellant, Isadore Dresner, purchased at a sheriff's sale Dalton's interest in the property.' The administrator of Larendon's estate would not allow Dresner to take possession of the property. Therefore, Dresner sought a declaratory judgment "as to the nature and extent of the interest in the property which Dalton had had and he (Dresner) had purchased." The lower court held that due to the provisions of the Slayer's Act of Pennsylvania Dalton's interest was only a life estate. Dresner by purchasing this interest acquired a life estate pur autre vie measured by the life of Dalton. Upon appeal the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania reversed the lower court decision.

First Page


Included in

Law Commons