Your elderly relative took care of you for years when you were younger, and you’ve pledged to do the same for them as they reach their twilight years. You know that they care deeply about their family, including you, your siblings and all of the younger children.
For these reasons, your elderly relative has created an estate plan, so that the family can receive an inheritance should they become incapacitated. A fundamental aspect of this estate plan is the will. The problem is, you have reason to suspect that their will is a fraud.
What are some of the more common signs of a fraudulent will?
Is it brand new?
You have a conversation with your elderly relative about estate planning every year or so. You want to make sure that their final wishes are reflected in all of the documents. Life changes, so it’s not uncommon for estate plans to change too.
You know for a fact that a will was drafted only a few months ago. It turns out that it has been completely destroyed, with a new one in its place. This in itself may not be suspicious, but alarm bells are ringing because key family members have been disinherited, with one person receiving a disproportionate amount of the inheritance. This could certainly be a sign that something is not right, and it is worth following up.
Is the will self-made?
It is perfectly lawful for someone to draft their own will, but that doesn’t mean it is advisable. If your elderly relative had a will that was previously prepared in an attorney’s office and now has a DIY will that is drastically different, you may have good reason to wonder if the new beneficiary had a hand in things.
When drafting a will at any age, it is beneficial to have legal guidance behind you. If you suspect foul play, then it might be possible for you to contest a will through the probate courts.