Fraudulent and disputed Wills are very serious cases.
One example was recently reported of a deceased man who lived alone in a Cardiff suburb, whose estate was valued at £320,000, just under the inheritance tax limit of £325,000. Three women came forward, who claimed to have found his handwritten Will while cleaning his house.
In this will two of the three women were appointed his executors and beneficiaries and the third was another beneficiary. After obtaining the Grant of Probate, the women took money from the deceased’s liquid assets and obtained a further £87,000 from the sale of his house. When a neighbour reported her suspicions, forensic analysis showed that the deceased had not written any part of his supposedly handwritten Will.
The three women were prosecuted for conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation. But what we can do to protect our Wills from such fraudulent attempts?
Perhaps the safest way is to plan in advance and to avoid having home-made Wills at all, which can be forged by anyone who has access to them. Our Probate, Wills & Trusts team can not only assist with all aspects related to Wills and Probate, but we also store original Wills and documents free of charge.
If you have any concerns about a loved one’s Will or you are currently disputing the validity of a Will, our team will be able to review the Will, confirm whether or not it is valid and advise you on the next steps.