How do I secure our family heirlooms?

Heirloom & Last Will and Testament

Subject: Family Heirloom

Question: My father passed away in Sept2010.  He was remarried to his 3rd wife.  I have checked with the county court house where he lived at the time of his death to obtain a copy of his last will and testament.  I was informed that he had a joint will that was filed with Lancaster county but that I can not obtain a copy of it since his current wife does not have to probate a joint will.  Prior to his death he had promised certain family heirlooms to be returned to myself and my brother (his only biological children).

Advice to the living where possible, give with warm hands

My step-mother refuses to release these items to myself or my brother.  Can I contest his will since it is a joint will.  I do not want anything other than the items that were promised to me.  These are items that have been in our family for many years and are of no value to my step-mother or her children.  I am afraid that they will be sold at a flea market or yard sale 7/or given away to some else.  How can I protect my familys heirloom & make sure what my Dads wishes were in his will?

Subject: Family Heirloom

From my understanding, the best you can hope for is to appeal to your stepmothers sense of decency by asking her to give them to you or her sense of greed by offering to buy them from her. To put it bluntly, the promise the deceased made does not count for anything it is the wishes expressed in his last will and testament that count. It is very likely that he left everything to my wife.

There little merit in contesting the will in th light of what you wish to acheive in the event your action was successful, the cost [of legal advice] would have been considerable perhaps you could speak to a local lawyer regarding an estimate of costs with a view to assessing your willingness to shell out that much cash.

My advice always is, where possible, to give with warm hands reducing the chance of dispute on death of the gift giver.  Or at least write a will that makes the specific gifts and make all interested parties aware of th provisions of the will.

Im sorry I do not see a great deal of light at the end of this tunnel.
Good luck.

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