Someone’s estate could include assets worth tens of thousands of dollars — or even more. Real estate, ownership stakes in a business and valuable personal property can motivate some people to try to get more than their fair share of an estate.
Sometimes, when you read the last will allegedly left behind by your loved one, you immediately feel that it deviates from or completely undermines your loved one’s stated legacy intentions. If you suspect fraud affected the last will, you may have grounds to challenge the document. What does such fraud sometimes involve?
Tricking someone into signing a document
If your loved one talked about signing an estate plan and clearly explained their intentions to you, shock is a common response when the last will that you read after their death completely contradicts their statements. If they signed it later in life, the possibility exists for someone to have tricked them into signing the documents without disclosing the real contents.
Forging a signature
If a last will doesn’t have witnesses or notarization, only a signature, that might be a sign that someone drafted false documents and copied the signature of the deceased individual. Warning signs of forgery include a signature that is an exact replica of your loved one’s signature, an unwitnessed signing or unnotarized documents.
Creating a completely fake digital document
The rise of virtual estate planning has made it easier than ever before for people to create fraudulent wills. A website has no way of knowing if the person filling out a form is whom they say they are. Online documents can be a red flag for potential fraud.
If you suspect fraud, you may need help proving it. The sooner you start exploring the circumstances, the better your chances of fighting back against a last will that you think is fraudulent.