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For Estate Planning, Estate Administration And Disputes

How to recognize a forged will

On Behalf of | 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.