The drawing up of a Will is one of the most important tasks that a person will undertake in their lifetime. It represents the last chance to divide an estate after death. Therefore, the structure and content of a Will is taken very seriously. Unfortunately, as with all documents, there is still room for something to go wrong, and sadly, sometimes, a Will may be prepared fraudulently.
Proving that a Will is fraudulent can be difficult and it's vital to seek legal advice swiftly. Once a person is deceased their estate is usually distributed as quickly as possible and early intervention is needed if you wish to stop that process. Member lawyers from Oratto in this section have extensive experience in inheritance dispute resolution and you need look no further for assistance if you suspect a Will to be fraudulent.
Contact Oratto today to find the right lawyer for you who can advise you specifically and answer any questions. Or use our Oratto Match facility so that we can suggest the member solicitors we believe are best-placed to advance or defend your particular case.
How can you tell if a Will has been created fraudulently?
The short answer is that you can't. There are no definitive rules to follow which will conclusively prove that fraud has been involved, rather the claim will involve an examination of all the circumstances which occurred surrounding the writing of the Will. Fraud can be indicated in a number of different ways:
- if the Will has in any way been constructed by a beneficiary
- if there are large, or confusing, changes from a previous Will of the testator
- if the language is overly complex, or cold, or if it seems to be obscuring strange decisions towards the beneficiaries
Fraud may also be implicated if a Will has been destroyed in suspicious circumstances - this could be because a person stands to gain money or assets by taking advantage of the intestacy rules. Improper destruction of a Will is definitely considered 'fraudulent'.
The chances of succeeding in proving that a Will has been prepared fraudulently are higher when there are clear indications that some misrepresentation has taken place. This can include situations where the testator has been impersonated or when a beneficiary has used unfair means to secure more money than they would otherwise have got. There are also rules around making changes to an existing Will, or having it set aside, which must be complied with in accordance with the Law.
Who to turn to if you believe fraud has occurred
If you suspect that the Will of a friend or relative has been targeted fraudulently, it's vital to contact Oratto straight away. We can quickly assess your situation and put you in contact with the members from our inheritance dispute section who are best placed to advise you on your specific circumstances.
The member lawyers in this section will be able to assess your circumstances quickly and effectively and then advise on the best way to proceed.
Fraud may have occurred – but that doesn't mean that it can't be dealt with, and Oratto member solicitors are best placed to act fast when you need them to.