A commission of fraud with a Will is in many cases very difficult to prove. Nevertheless, these acts of fraudulence are a reality. But is your will fraudulent?
In truth, there’s a variety of reasons why the last Will of a testator might not be valid.
In other cases, the testator is simply not of the right mind as they construct and sign the will. For example, if the testator had Dementia when the will undergoes an update. That alone is enough for the courts to consider the Will invalid.
If a Will is fraudulent, then an earlier version of the Will may be the one the law deems valid. If there is no such Will, it’s likely that the government will take over regarding dictating who the beneficiaries are.
How Can You Tell If a Will is Fraudulent?
There are a few warning signs that you should look out for when determining whether a Will is fraudulent or not. Just because the Will doesn’t leave you what you thought you deserve doesn’t automatically make it fraudulent. Some key examples of fraud include the following.
- Complete destruction of the original Will. Subsequently leaving behind a newer revision that is suspicious to family members.
- Signature of the Will is either by force, forgery or fakery. You will need to provide examples of their real signature to submit into evidence, though this doesn’t always result in a Will being fraudulent.
- The Will does not have a witness present at signing, or lacks a witness signature.
- There are extenuating circumstances that indicate the tricking or coercion of a testator into signing this new Will.
- If a caregiver takes care of all the testator’s needs for many years. Thereafter, the Will is unreasonably favouring towards them.
- The Will was not made with legal counsel on hand; it was instead made at home.
- The Will undergoes changes when the testator was in a hospital or made when they were not of sound mind.
What to Do if You Believe a Will is Fraudulent?
If you believe the Will is fraudulent, you must first have the right to contest a will. But who can contest a Will? Generally speaking, spouses, civil partners, and blood relatives can contest a Will.
However, some non-blood relative exceptions became valid by law in recent years. A surrogate child/adoptee, for example, in all but name can also contest a Will.
If you believe that a Will is fraudulent you will need to follow these steps:
- Contact Will Dispute Lawyers to see if you have a case.
- Gather Evidence that supports your claim that the Will is fraudulent.
- Acquire Witness Reports that corroborate the evidence that the testator was not in sound mind or otherwise subject to coercion.
- Choose Settlement or Pursue Legal Action to acquire what you believe is a fair deal.
It is important to note that it is very difficult to contest a fraudulent Will. Be very careful in collecting as much evidence and testimonies as you can.