Despite the inherent tragedy of the occasion, reviewing a deceased loved one’s will is usually a routine affair. Family conflict is far from unusual, but in most cases, the division of assets between heirs won’t come as much of a shock. However, if you have reason to suspect an altered or forged will, let’s consider some next steps.
The Possibility of a Forged Will
Firstly, you must be someone who would be wronged if the will was accepted. You’ll need more than a simple disagreement over its terms to contest its legitimacy in court. So, before you consider challenging a will, you need a concrete reason to move forward with legal proceedings.
Maybe you viewed earlier versions of the will that were drastically different. Or, perhaps the final document contradicts conversations you had with your loved one about their estate plan. Another possibility is that an executor simply failed to perform his or her duties correctly, and overlooked assets.
It’s pretty standard for a will to include a “no-contest clause,” stating that it may not be challenged. But in actuality, such clauses can be dismissed when there’s a legitimate claim to contest.
Can You Challenge a Will After Probate was Granted?
While it’s necessary to meet various conditions before you can contest a forged will, it is still possible to challenge the document after probate is granted.
When a will is challenged following a grant of probate, it becomes the beneficiary’s responsibility to prove the document is invalid.
Forged Will Next Steps
If you suspect a will was forged, the next step is to consult with an experienced probate attorney. John F. Lewman, the Founder of Lewman Law, APC, has over twenty years of experience. He’s committed to resolving his clients’ legal issues with compassion and understanding. For more information, please contact us online or at (925) 447-1250.