Dealing with the loss of a beloved family member is always difficult. Finding out that their Will does not adequately reflect their final wishes can exacerbate your grief.
If someone has fraudulently interfered with a deceased family member’s Will in an attempt steal another person’s inheritance, consult the legal team of Romano & Sumner for assistance, regardless of which side of the dispute you may be on. An estate litigation lawyer familiar with fraud in Sugar Land, Texas Wills can work with you to preserve the validity of your loved one’s final wishes.
One of the most common types of Will fraud occurs when a testator’s true intentions are not represented because another person misled them prior to the execution or modification of their Will.
Even if the testator attempted to observe all necessary Texas probate procedures in the execution of the Will, a concerned family member may object to its validity on the grounds that the testator changed the intended distribution of their assets solely because another person intentionally misrepresented important information.
For example, if someone falsely told a testator that their grandson had died, they may have acted on that information and changed their Will by removing all provisions bequeathing property to that grandson and altered the document so that the property transfers to another person. In this example, a skilled Texas lawyer could help determine the testator’s original intent by examining prior versions of the Will to see if the testator had included the grandson. They could also speak with witnesses to look for evidence of the testator’s intent and search for proof that another person intentionally and fraudulently misrepresented important information to the testator.
Another type of fraud can occur when somebody misleads a testator into signing a Will. Fraud in the execution occurs when a testator trusts the person who gives them the Will so much that the testator signs it without reviewing its contents. The testator may believe that they are signing a Will that reflects their true intentions or may not even be aware the document they are signing is a Will.
This type of fraud could also occur when a testator cannot read due to failing vision or language barriers. For example, an estate manager could have their elderly client sign a Will naming them as a significant beneficiary by telling them that they are merely signing a document required for typical estate maintenance. Sugar Land fraud attorneys can look into the evidence surrounding the Will’s execution and search to find evidence of the testator’s true intent.
When a person forces a testator to create or modify a Will by threatening physical force or harm, or when a person in a position of trust abuses their power and wrongfully influences a testator, this is known as fraud by duress. Local legal representatives could examine the circumstances to see if there was evidence of interference.
Will fraud can also happen when a person creates a fake Will or Codicil to a Will to change the provisions in their favor. A Sugar Land legal professional would meet with the witnesses to the Will’s signing, and, if necessary, examine the validity of the testator’s signature.
If a court finds that a Will does not represent a testator’s intent, they could invalidate the fraudulent provisions or the entire Will. If necessary, the court would distribute the property according to the testator’s original intent by using a constructive trust.
The skilled attorneys at Romano & Sumner could help remedy the damage caused by fraud in Sugar Land, Texas Wills. They could also work to ensure that the rightful heirs receive what they are owed. Contact our firm for a free consultation to get started on your case today.
Romano & Sumner, PLLC