Contesting a Will on the Grounds of Forgery

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Contesting a Will on the Grounds of Forgery

A Will sets out an individual’s wishes for the distribution of their estate after their death. Contesting a Will on the grounds of an alleged forgery can be difficult and the procedure for doing so involves the process of a thorough investigation of the Will and the circumstances surrounding how the Will was made.

To ensure its validity, a Will must adhere to specific requirements:

  • The Will must be in writing and should provide a clear record of the testator’s intentions.
  • The testator must be 18 or over.
  • The Will should be signed by the testator.
  • The Will should be signed in the presence of two witnesses, who must be independent adults over the age of 18. The witnesses must also sign the Will in the testator’s presence.
  • The testator must have the mental capacity to understand the nature of their actions, the extent of their property, and the implications of their decisions. They should sign the Will  voluntarily and not be subject to any undue influence or coercion.

What Is a forged Will?

A forged Will is one that has been falsified or altered with the intent to deceive and manipulate the distribution of assets. Forgery within a Will often involves the unauthorised signing, changing, or manipulation of the Will, the signatures on the Will, or any of its provisions.

How can I prove a Will has been forged?

Proving a Will has been forged can be a challenging exercise and one that will require evidence. The evidence to prove that a Will has been subject to a forgery or alteration may include one or more of the following methods:

  • Obtaining a report from a qualified expert to compare the purported signature on a Will with genuine samples of the testator’s signatures or witnesses’ signatures on the Will to determine whether there are any inconsistencies and deviations. For example, a forged signature may lack the nuances present in an authentic signature and a handwriting expert will be able to differentiate these and comment on the likelihood of a forgery having occurred.
  • Obtaining evidence from witnesses who may be able to attest to the testator’s mental state, the circumstances of the alleged signing of the Will, and whether they can provide any other evidence which would suggest that the Will was not signed in the manner stated in the Will.

Implications of proving a Will has been forged

If you are successful in proving a Will has been forged, there are significant implications which may arise. These would ordinarily include the following:

  • The Will is declared invalid. The distribution of assets will revert to that which is contained within a previously valid Will or if there is no previous Will the estate will be distributed in accordance with the intestacy rules.
  • The person(s) responsible for forging or altering the Will may face legal consequences, including potential criminal charges for fraud and forgery.

What to do if you suspect a Will has been forged

If you suspect a Will has been forged, we would strongly suggest you speak to an experienced solicitor who can evaluate the viability of your claim. A Solicitor can assist you to gather evidence in the form of relevant documents, signatures, and information that may support a claim.

We have experienced solicitors at Grant Saw who will be able to assist you in a potential claim of an alleged forgery or alteration of a Will. Please feel free to contact us for a free initial discussion. You can email us or contact us on 020 8858 6971.

Meet the Contested Wills and Probate team
Ray Crudgington
Managing Partner
Managing Partner
greenwich
02083054224
ray.crudgington@grantsaw.co.uk
Maria Lati
Maria Lati
Partner
Partner and Head of Residential Property
blackheath
02083054229
maria.lati@grantsaw.co.uk
Mike Clary
Family
Partner and Head of Family
greenwich
02083054237
mike.clary@grantsaw.co.uk
Kalpa Prajapati
Partner
Partner and Head of Private Client
blackheath
02083053536
kalpa.prajapati@grantsaw.co.uk
Mario Savvides
Commercial Property
Partner and Head of Commercial Property
greenwich
02083053531
mario.savvides@grantsaw.co.uk
Sarah-Kate Jackson
Litigation
Partner and Head of Litigation
greenwich
02083054236
sarah-kate.jackson@grantsaw.co.uk
Adina-Leigh Collins
Litigation
Solicitor
greenwich
02083053556
adina-leigh.collins@grantsaw.co.uk
Aimal Gram
Commercial Property
Solicitor
greenwich
02083053524
aimal.gram@grantsaw.co.uk
Aisha Mohammed
Aisha Mohammed
Residential Property
Professional Support Lawyer
greenwich
02083054228
aisha.mohammed@grantsaw.co.uk
An Le Tran
Commercial Property
Professional Support Solicitor
greenwich
02083054226
anle.tran@grantsaw.co.uk
Ana-Maria Badeanu
Ana-Maria Badeanu
Corporate and Commercial
Solicitor
greenwich
02083053539
ana-maria.badeanu@grantsaw.co.uk
Angela Shaw
Angela Shaw
Private Client
Solicitor
blackheath
02083054234
angela.shaw@grantsaw.co.uk
Angus Young
Litigation
Solicitor
greenwich
02083054225
angus.young@grantsaw.co.uk
Atifha Aftab
Atifha Aftab
Family
Solicitor
greenwich
02083054238
atifha.aftab@grantsaw.co.uk
Bimal Kotecha
Litigation
Solicitor
greenwich
02083053523
bimal.kotecha@grantsaw.co.uk
Charlotte Warren
Charlotte Warren
Private Client
Solicitor
blackheath
02083054231
charlotte.warren@grantsaw.co.uk
Claire Mac Mahon
Litigation
Solicitor
greenwich
02083053537
claire.macmahon@grantsaw.co.uk
Deborah Taite
Residential Property
Solicitor
blackheath
02083053542
deborah.taite@grantsaw.co.uk
Emily Pearce
Residential Property
Solicitor
greenwich
02083053526
emily.pearce@grantsaw.co.uk
Georgia Beales
Litigation
Paralegal
greenwich
02083054206
georgia.beales@grantsaw.co.uk
Jeremy Brooks
Jeremy Brooks
Private Client
Solicitor
blackheath
02083053534
jeremy.brooks@grantsaw.co.uk
Joanna Godden
Notary Public
Notary
greenwich
02083083627
joanna.godden@grantsaw.co.uk
Lauren Smith
Employment
Paralegal
greenwich
02083053543
lauren.smith@grantsaw.co.uk
Mandeep Clair
Family
Solicitor
greenwich
02083054235
mandeep.clair@grantsaw.co.uk
Michael Pope
Corporate and Commercial
Solicitor
greenwich
02083053540
michael.pope@grantsaw.co.uk
Michelle Pinnington
Michelle Pinnington
Residential Property
Solicitor
blackheath
02083054216
michelle.pinnington@grantsaw.co.uk
Noella Gooden
Noella Gooden
Employment
Solicitor (Australian qualified)
greenwich
02083053543
noella.gooden@grantsaw.co.uk
Raj Waghela
Raj Waghela
Residential Property
Solicitor
greenwich
02083053529
raj.waghela@grantsaw.co.uk
Randeep Thethy
Randeep Thethy
Residential Property
Solicitor
greenwich
02083054209
randeep.thethy@grantsaw.co.uk
Sarah Hogan
Sarah Hogan
Residential Property
Solicitor
blackheath
02083054214
sarah.hogan@grantsaw.co.uk
Simona Morina
Simona Morina
Litigation
Solicitor
greenwich
02083053521
simona.morina@grantsaw.co.uk
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Simone Gavioli
Litigation
Litigation Executive
greenwich
02083053548
simone.gavioli@grantsaw.co.uk
Susan Collins
Commercial Property
Solicitor
greenwich
02083054200
susan.collins@grantsaw.co.uk
Tatiana Zenina
Tatiana Zenina
Private Client
Solicitor
blackheath
02083054239
tatiana.zenina@grantsaw.co.uk
Trisha Djemal
Trisha Djemal
Residential Property
Consultant Solicitor
blackheath
02083053546
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Tyrone Grant
Residential Property
Head of Leasehold Enfranchisement
blackheath
02083053522
tyrone.grant@grantsaw.co.uk
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Accounts Staff
greenwich
02088586971
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Helen Arney
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Michael Tobin
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greenwich
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greenwich
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Support Staff
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