Unfortunately, fraudulent Wills are not uncommon. Here at Stephensons, our solicitors have vast amounts of experience in dealing with a variety of Will fraud cases in the UK. If you want to challenge the Will of a loved one on the basis that it may have been forged, we may be able to help you.
What is classified as a fraudulent Will?
There are a number of examples of fraudulent Will cases, including (but not limited to):
- When an original copy of a Will has been intentionally destroyed
- When a Will has not signed in the presence of both witnesses
- When the signature on a Will isn’t that of the person making the Will
- When a person is misled to believe they are signing another document, when in actual fact they have signed a Will
If you believe that the signature of a loved one on their Will is not theirs, you may be able to challenge the Will on the basis of it being forged. In order to prove this, you would have to obtain original examples of the deceased’s signature. As a person’s signature may naturally change over time and degenerate as they get older, the signatures should be those dated from around the time that the Will was made. It may be necessary at some point to obtain a report from a handwriting expert.
It is vital that you are aware that you can also be penalised by the court if you allege fraud without reasonable evidence, and are unsuccessful, as it is considered to be a very serious allegation under UK law. Under these circumstances, the court could order that you have to pay your opponent’s legal costs. This is a very complex area of law, and we would strongly advise that you seek legal advice at the very start of your case, to minimise the potential of costs being ordered against you. Stephensons have a specialist inheritance dispute team who will be able to advise you in relation to your dispute.