Good morning Clare,
In an effort to locate the original hard copy of the second will my brother has systematically gone through all of the documents held in each room of the house. I have been in contact with all of the banks that may have been holding documents for my step mother, I have located the deeds to the house but none of them are holding a copy of the will. I have also been in contact with my step mothers close friends to see if she confided in any of them the location of the will or if they were holding it for safe keeping. In addition I have have attempted to contact the two witnesses to the will but unfortunately both witnesses are dead and only one of their wives survives.
I have copies of the first will(s) (they were sent to me by my father in 1983) but I suspect that if I cannot proceed with the second will I will have to revert to the first will. The beneficiaries are the same in both cases.
My brother and I have divided the tasks as above because he grew up in the house and therefor knows it well and in addition he now lives only a two and a half hour drive away. I unfortunately live seven hours away with no direct quicker link.
I hope this helps, if you need more please let me know.
Many thanks and best regards,
The terms of the two wills are as follows,
In the first will the trustees are the solicitor with whom the will was drawn up and myself.
The primary beneficiary is my father should he survive my step mother, as he did not then the beneficiaries are my brother, two sisters and I. Each of us are bequeathed specific items from the house (sets of wine glasses, or decanters, pictures etc.) My brother is to have all of my step mothers personal effects like her watch and rings. The property and the remainder of the estate is to be converted into cash and equally divided between the four of us once all debts have been settled.
In the second will the trustees are my brother and I.
The beneficiaries are my brother two sisters and I, each of us are bequeathed the same specific items as in the first will. The property is to be converted into cash and equally divided between the four of us. All of the remaining cash is to go to my brother once all of the debts have been settled.
In both wills there is provision for a beneficiaries share to go to their children if they are not alive to receive it themselves.
At the time when the first will was drawn up my father made a will with identical text but in the first instance bequeathing all to my step mother.
There is not any evidence that the second will was drafted by a solicitor.
I do not have her computer here to check but she did have a scanner / printer and she was quite computer literate.
House deeds are with the bank, not found any other documents of high importance.
My brother is the biological child of my step mother, my two sisters and I are the offspring of my fathers first marriage.