COVID-19 Notice: In order to best serve you while doing our part to maximize health and safety, we continue to be available for telephone and Zoom video conferences, and documents can be prepared, reviewed, signed, and exchanged electronically. Call 646-561-9099 for your legal needs!

PROVEN LEGAL COUNSEL

For Estate Planning, Estate Administration And Disputes

How to recognize a forged will

| Jan 5, 2018 | estate administration & probate |

In our last post, we highlighted a few signs that a will could be forged. Forgeries are a critical legal basis for will contests. If a will is found to be forged, it could be held to be invalid because the forgery does not accurately or legally express the testator’s true intentions.

But believing that a will has been forged and proving it are two different things. Forgery has to be proven in a court of law, and there are several ways of doing so. This post will identify a few. 

Suspicious modifications – Indeed, mistakes are common as wills are modified or changed over time. However, a will that has dubious changes such as missing or manipulated pages, unsubstantiated strikeouts or erasures, signs of liquid paper being are red flags that can be used to prove a will is forged.

Documents missing legal formalities – Not every will must be drafted by an attorney, but when a document posed as a will lacks the legal formalities to demonstrate testamentary intent, it could be evidence of a forgery.

Handwriting analysis – Whether it is through computer analysis or comparison to a catalogue of signatures, a trained expert can breakdown the strokes and markings that make up a signature to determine if the signature in a will is actually the testator’s signature.

If you have questions about your legal rights and options with a potentially forged will or other estate planning document, an experienced probate law attorney can advise you.

The preceding is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice.