When a person dies, their last will and testament is the document that determines how their estate will be distributed to the people they choose. Occasionally, family members challenge a last will because they suspect it might be fraudulent. Fraudulent wills can be difficult to identify. However, there are a few red flags that can point to potential fraud in an estate plan.
Signing A Will
Signing a will is a vital part of ensuring that your wishes are recorded properly and legally. One of the main ways a will can be fraudulent is through forgery. This involves someone stealing another person’s signature and making it appear on the will, often by using their name. In order to prevent this, wills are often signed in the presence of two witnesses who can testify that the person who made the will appears to be mentally competent and did not have any undue influence on them when they signed it. This is a crucial step in ensuring that the will is valid and cannot be challenged in court by anyone who has doubts about it.
Executing A Will
Executing a will is a crucial part of a successful estate plan. It ensures that a testator’s wishes are carried out and their wishes are known to those who will receive the property they leave behind. A testator must be of sound mind when they sign the will. They must also be fully aware of the content and the consequences of the document they are signing. If a testator does not have the required ’knowledge and approval’ to make their will valid, a court may consider this suspicious. This degree of suspicion is determined by the amount of evidence that can be gathered. The more suspect the circumstances, the less likely that a court will uphold the Will.
Defending A Will
Defending a will is a complex process and requires the assistance of an experienced attorney. This will allow you to defend the validity of your will and prevent it from being challenged by interested parties. Those who challenge a will need to prove they have a valid reason for contesting it. They must also show that there is something about the way in which it was written that is illegal or invalid. Getting an experienced attorney involved before a dispute arises can increase your chances of success in court.