Signs A Massachusetts Will Is A Fake
If you have recently lost a loved one and were more than a little surprised at some of the terms of their Last Will and Testament, you may have reason to believe that their Will was forged or produced as a result of undue influence Forgery is defined as, the making, altering, use, or possession of a false writing or document to commit a fraud. A Will that is found to be a forgery will be unenforceable in probate court.
Signs of a Forged Will
- Shocking changes to will. If your loved one’s Will contains some shocking changes that benefit surprising beneficiaries, it is important to consider whether their will could be forged (or subject to undue influence if the signature appears to be that of the decedent). If there are witnesses who spoke to the testator in the months leading up to their death, and they recall the testator expressing wishes for their estate that are very different from those expressed in their alleged will, this can weigh in favor of forgery or undue influence. Additionally, if the changes benefit an individual that is a stranger to the rest of the family, or only recently entered the testator’s life, this can also indicate forgery.
- Handwriting doesn’t match. If the signature and written portions of the testator’s will do not match the testator’s handwriting, this can indicate that the signature was forged and that the testator was not actually aware of the contents of this version of the will. If you bring this matter to trial you can bring a handwriting expert in as an expert witness who can testify as to whether the testator was the person who actually signed the will or not.
- The witnesses are questionable. Another red flag indicating that a will may be an issue is if the will is not signed by witnesses or the witnesses appear to be made up. Make sure to fact check the witnesses to ensure that they are real people who were present at the time the will was signed by the testator, and that they meet all legal requirements for serving as a witness.
- Missing pages. If the will is missing pages, missing signatures, or is not properly notarized, this may indicate that the Will does not represent the final wishes of a loved one. An incomplete document may be a stunning discovery and may indicate some questionable activity and tactics; however, it will not be admitted to probate and the distribution contained therein will not be enforceable.
Contact Fisher Law, LLC in Boston, Massachusetts
If you believe that your loved one’s does not accurately represent their last wishes, , it is important to make sure that you have a dedicated Norwood estate planning attorney on your side to make sure that their true last wishes are honored and that no one improperly benefits from their tragic death. Contact Fisher Law, LLC to schedule a consultation today.