Published 28 Jun 2018
Despite the similarity of the two words, they are actually very different terms when it comes to making a legal case for invalidating a Will in NSW. If you suspect there is something unusual or suspicious about the provisions in your loved one's Will, read on to see whether fraud or forgery may be at play and discover how you can challenge the validity of the document.
What is Will fraud?
Will fraud occurs when the testator is tricked into signing a Will. Examples of fraud include:
Fraud can occur if the Will-maker is temporarily incapable of making rational decisions - on medication, for example - or if they are presented with another similar-looking document.
What is Will forgery?
Forgery differs from fraud in that the deceased will likely not have been involved in creating or signing their Will. Normally, cases of Will forgery can be broken down into two categories; issues with the document itself or suspicion around the signatures and witnesses.
There are a number of circumstances that could be cause for suspicion within both counts of forgery, including these examples in the former:
Here are some examples that may be suspicious in the event of the latter:
How do I fight Will fraud and forgery?
Both claims are notoriously difficult to prove in court as they require an intimate understanding of the Will construction process and sometimes the input of outside expertise, such as a specialist in analysing handwriting to check for evidence of forged signatures.
If you think your loved one's estate has been meddled with, you should seek the advice of Will & Estate solicitors, to ensure there is no foul play involved. For more information, contact Gerard Malouf & Partners today.