Can I contest a will on the grounds of fraud?

If you would like to contest a Will on the grounds of fraud then call our free legal helpline. We will assess your case and tell you if no win, no fee funding is available. Call freephone 0333 888 0409 or send us an email.

 What is will fraud?

We are frequently asked, ‘Can I contest a Will on the grounds of fraud?’ To answer that question it is necessary to go back to basics and start by considering what fraud actually is.

Fraud is defined as ‘an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual’.

Fraudulent Wills are uncommon. It can be difficult to prove Will fraud as it requires very persuasive evidence. People often find an alternative route to challenge a Will where will fraud is suspected, such as the testator’s ‘lack of knowledge or approval‘ of the Will or their lack of testamentary capacity.

Because Will fraud is a very serious allegation to make, it should never be made lightly.

How can Will fraud arise?

Will fraud can arise where:

  • The signature on the Will is forged;
  • The original Will has been deliberately destroyed;
  • The Will was not signed in the presence of both witnesses;
  • The deceased was tricked into signing a document without knowing that it is a Will; or
  • False representations are made about someone else so that the deceased either writes them in or out of the Will.

Evidence of fraud

Proving that Will fraud has taken place can often present significant difficulties.

If someone has forged the deceased’s signature it may be possible to call a handwriting expert to give evidence. Such an expert can compare the signature on the Will with other examples of the testator’s signature and handwriting. If a court is satisfied that the signature is not the deceased’s, the Will is likely to be declared invalid and any previous Will (or the intestacy rules) shall apply.

However, handwriting analysis is not an exact science and there is a high degree of risk associated with such challenges.

How we can help

If you require further guidance on whether you can contest a Will on the grounds of fraud, then contact our free legal helpline on 0333 888 0409 or email us at [email protected]