A will is a powerful estate planning tool. In fact, it is the cornerstone of any estate plan. When a testator properly creates their will, they do so hoping that this will take the guesswork out of the picture and ensure that their wishes are honored when they die.
But what happens when you open your loved one’s will only to find that it is strikingly different from what you expected or what they communicated before their demise? Of course, this can be a frustrating situation to be in. The good news, however, is that if you suspect that your loved one’s will is a product of forgery, then you can take legal action.
So what signs should you look for if you suspect will forgery?
First, you want to start by understanding the telltale signs of a potential will forgery. Just because you have questions regarding the content of the will may not mean that it is fraudulent. Here are some of the signs that you need to look for if you suspect forgery in your loved one’s will.
There is something odd about the signature
A will must be duly signed by the testator to be valid. If your loved one’s will does not bear their signature, this could be a serious red flag.
If the testator’s signature appears traced or photocopied, or if it seems to belong to someone else, then you might want to involve a handwriting expert to help you determine its authenticity.
Questions with the witnesses
For a will to be valid in Tennessee, it must be witnessed by at least two adults of sound mind. These witnesses must sign the will too. If your loved one’s will is not witnessed, then this could be a sign of fraud. If you doubt whether the indicated witnesses were actually present during the will’s creation, then you might want to call them up to respond to your concerns.
A will can be challenged on the grounds of fraud. Find out how you protect your loved one’s rights and interests if you believe their will was forged.