The process of creating a will is relatively simple, especially when you have an experienced wills attorney assisting you. In fact, it’s better to first consult with a wills attorney before creating your will to make sure it is properly structured for your specific situation.
In doing so, you can ensure that your will is official and filed correctly so that there is no question of its validity should a dispute arise. The truth is, disputes over wills are commonplace—family members don’t agree with the contents of the will and try to dispute its validity in an attempt to get an outcome more favorable to their wishes.
But what happens if a will really is forged? Whether it’s yours or a loved one’s, if you suspect that a will is forged, don’t wait to voice your suspicions. There are times when it’s perfectly acceptable to question a will. It’s true that some people abuse this idea, but if you really feel that a will is forged, it’s important to take action now rather than later.
At Doane & Doane, we are committed to helping our clients throughout the entirety of the estate planning experience. Whether you have a will or a loved one does, forged wills are a very serious matter. If you have reason to believe that a will is forged, contact us today to speak with a trusted wills attorney.
What Is a Forged Will?
A forged will is a document that the testator (the person writing it) claims to have written. However, it is not actually signed in his or her own writing. Why would anyone do this? Quite simply, wills are forged in an attempt to get a decedent’s estate and assets. Sometimes, they are caught before going through probate. But many times, they go through undiscovered, allowing the forger to take over control of the recently deceased’s property.
When you believe that a will has been forged, the first thing you should do is talk to an experienced wills attorney about how to proceed. You need to know what the options are for dealing with a forged will. Whatever course your lawyer advises you on, buckle down and follow through with it. It’s not worth getting into a legal battle over something as simple as an altered document.
What Does a Forged Will Mean for Your Estate?
When someone in your life forges your will, it can cause great turmoil for your surviving family members that you intended to receive your assets. A good example of this is if you have children from a previous marriage. Your wish is for them to get your assets after you pass. However, you have since remarried and put in your will for your new spouse to receive only a few things from you when you die. Knowing this, your spouse creates an entirely new will solely in their favor, leaving your children out or receiving only very little.
To finalize the will, your spouse forges your signature, thus making it look true and complete. When you pass away, probate dictates that your spouse is to get the vast majority of your estate as per the forged will.
Conversely, you could instead put yourself in the shoes of the children in the above example to gain a better perspective of what a forged will can mean for someone’s estate. It would effectively cheat you out of what’s rightfully yours. So if you believe that a will has been forged or you think you are the victim of a forged will, you should consult with a wills attorney immediately.
What to Do if You Think Your Will Has Been Forged
If you think your will has been forged, it is imperative that you speak to a lawyer right away. If you are unsure if your will has been forged and it’s not yet signed, consult with a trusted wills attorney before signing.
When it comes to estate planning, there are a lot of decisions to be made, and the one that can cause the most concern is finding out that a will is forged. Don’t risk losing your estate or giving what’s rightfully yours to someone it was never intended for.
Contact an experienced wills attorney at Doane & Doane immediately. Your attorney will take the necessary steps to have the will examined by a professional to determine its validity and the validity of the signature.
Call Doane & Doane if You Believe a Will Is Forged
Forged wills are very serious matters that must be addressed right away. If you believe a forgery has taken place, contact an experienced wills attorney for assistance. At Doane & Doane, we specialize in wills and estate planning and can help you through this challenging time.
The information in this blog post is for reference only and not legal advice. As such, you should not decide whether to contact a lawyer based on the information in this blog post. Moreover, there is no lawyer-client relationship resulting from this blog post, nor should any such relationship be implied. If you need legal counsel, please consult a lawyer licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.