Exhaustive searches by a firm of Waterford solicitors have so far failed to find two of the beneficiaries of the last will of a well known pharmacist in the city who died over four years ago.
Pharmacist Michael O’Connor, The Quay, Waterford, died on May 12, 2005 leaving a substantial estate believed to be worth several hundred thousand euro. His last will, which was made in 1994, went to probate in June 2006. But two of the beneficiaries, Septa and Marian Stephens, believed to be a mother and daughter, with an address at ‘Sandringham’ in Sussex, England, have remained unidentified.
The law firm of Henry D. Keane, solrs, O’Connell St, Waterford, has carried out extensive but unsuccessful searches in both Ireland and Britain in a bid to contact the two ladies mentioned in the will.
Barrister Eithne Hegarty, BL., instructed by John Breen, solr, told Waterford Cicuit Civil Court that title re-searchers were engaged in the hunt for the two ladies who reside in England but there was no evidence of them in either Ireland or England.
The executors of the will, The Governor and Company of the Bank of Ireland, have applied to Waterford Circuit Civil Court for directions as to how to process the money. If the two beneficiates are not located their shares in the estate of the late Ml. O’Connor will go into the residue of the estate and be distributed between the other heirs.
Judge Olive Buttimer postponed her decision to give directions on the disposal of the money and said she would be happier if further enquiries were made by the Waterford solicitors.
The court directed that advertisements be placed in the law gazettes in both Ireland and England as well as in the Irish Post newspaper in a last effort to make contact with the two women.
The Judge adjourned the Bank of Ireland’s application for directions to the next sittings of Waterford Circuit Civil Court in October next.
The late Mr. O’Connor left bequests to his relatives in Waterford as well as two ‘substantial’ charitable bequests in his will.