When a loved one passes away, you expect their final will to outline their wishes clearly. While this is what happens in most instances, some individuals may not agree with what the will says and may change the will before your loved one passes to be more favorable to them. If those changes are made without your loved one’s consent, it counts as a forgery and your Dallas will contest lawyer can help you fight for what your loved one truly wanted. So, how can you tell if the will is a forgery? Here are a few things to pay attention to:
Look at the Dates of the Signatures
Wills are always dated. This helps ensure that the will being enforced is the most recent. But sometimes, changes to wills are made after an individual is declared incompetent or otherwise unable to make informed decisions on their own. Look at the dates on your loved one’s will and check them against any major medical events or medical declarations made. If the dates fall during major medical events that rendered your loved one unable to make informed decisions or after their health worsened, the will may be a forgery and worth contesting.
Consider the Language Used
There’s a good chance that your loved one discussed their final wishes with you and others before they passed. Take a look at the current version of the will. Does the language sound consistent with what you know of your loved one? Are their final wishes consistent with what they discussed with you and other beneficiaries? If there are dramatic changes or changes that are completely out of character for your loved one, it may be a forgery.
Examine the Signatures Themselves
In some instances, beneficiaries may alter wills and forge the will-holder’s signature. Pay close attention to any signatures and initials in the document. Do they look like your loved one’s signatures? Are there clear variances in the handwriting that aren’t consistent with your loved one’s medical conditions? If so, compare the signatures against other recent ones to determine accuracy. If anything looks off or it’s clear that someone else signed your loved one’s name, the will may be a forgery.
Check the Witnesses
Valid wills should have witnesses and their signatures to ensure that the will is valid. See who the witnesses are. If the witnesses are the beneficiaries that the will seems to favor, the will may be a forgery. Witnesses should never be beneficiaries of the will as it represents a clear conflict of interest. If your loved one’s will was witnessed by a beneficiary, speak with a Dallas will contest attorney immediately.
Speak With a Dallas Will Contest Lawyer
It is possible that your loved one may have changed their will prior to their passing. But if anything looks out of place or you suspect that a beneficiary is trying to cheat the system and get more from your loved one’s estate, don’t ignore it. Contact Norris & Weber today and let our experienced Dallas will contest lawyers assess your case.