Going forth with a will after the owner’s death is important for the sustainability of the remaining family members, but what happens when the will seems fraudulent? When to involve an estate litigation lawyer PG County? Here is how you can contest a forged will in court.

Forgery In Wills

A will is a substantial document that has all of the wishes, directions, and commands of the owner and after their death, the assets are handed down to the beneficiaries through the probate process.

However, there can be times when a will can be falsified, forged, or fraudulent and there are many cases that lawyers deal with every day, trying to figure out whether a will is real or not. There are many ways by which a will can be forged, but the main motive behind it is mostly ill will and stripping the actual beneficiaries off their legal right.

How The Legal Validity Of A Will Is Determined?

Before getting into the nitty gritty of a forged will and how to contest it in court, you need to understand the concept of a valid will. There are a lot of ways by which the legal validity of a will can be determined, some of which are as follows:

  • The will must be in handwriting. Typed wills are usually very hard to verify.
  • The instructions should be clear and if shared with the beneficiaries, they can vouch for the terms as written by the testator (the owner and writer of the will) precisely.
  • The testator needs to be of age. He/she cannot be younger than 18, otherwise the will is not valid in court.
  • The will needs to be signed by the testator and there is a signature analysis done on the will to ensure that the sign isn’t fraudulent either because it can be found out pretty easily through handwriting analysis.
  • A will is always signed in the presence of two witnesses, who also need to be 18 or older. Their signatures are also required, so that they can testify the validity of the will in the future.
  • At the time of making the will, and this can also be backed up by witnesses as well as the beneficiaries, the testator needs to be in a sound mental state. He/she cannot be incapacitated or mentally challenged when making the will, otherwise it’s not valid in court.

How To Know If A Will Is Forged?

Here are some ways by which you can prove that a will is forged in court and you will need these things to contest the will in court as well. Move forward with the advice of your lawyer.

Handwriting Analysis

The handwriting on the will is different from the owner’s. If the testator is someone you know personally and live close with, then you might have an idea as to what their handwriting looks like. If there’s a slight or major difference in the handwriting, then it’s probably forged by someone.

Another giveaway can be the terms of the will, and those can be completely different and a deflection from what the testator has told you, especially if you are the beneficiary or one of them. Usually, forged wills have claims and terms in them that don’t benefit the beneficiary in any way, shape, or form.

Witness Statements

If you know the witnesses who were present at the time of the will being signed, then you could talk to them and see if they remember anything different from the present, likely forged will.

Usually, witnesses have some sort of idea about the testator as well as their behavior at the time of the signing of the will and their statements can be used as evidence in court if you have a very strong inkling that the will is forged. Witnesses might also be able to tell you whether the will was made by pressuring the testator or if there was any other form of blackmail involved.

Signature Analysis Report

Like handwriting, signatures can also vary. Everyone’s handwriting and way of signing things is different. The curve of the letters, the specific way of holding the pen, and even the line weight of the signature varies a lot.

If you suspect that the sign on the will is forged and that it’s not the real signature of the testator, then you can have a signature analysis done by an expert. What you’ll need for this is the testator’s real signature as well as the will or its copy to analyze the signature.

Having Evidence

Will forgery doesn’t just happen out of the blue. Usually, people who have ill intent towards the testator will plan things. Your job, as a beneficiary, is to gather evidence that could reflect the forgery and deem it as something pre-planned, because there are higher chances of your case being taken seriously if there’s a long track record of someone trying to get their hands on the testator’s assets.

If the testator can’t do anything, or if the will is coming to light after their death, then it’s your job to get to the bottom of the issue and solve it once and for all.

Suspects In Mind

This implication ties in with the previous one. You might have an idea as to who could be trying to take advantage of the testator and their assets.

You need to be careful of who you surround yourself with and share personal information with because out of the flock, some people can take advantage of this fact and can use influences to forge a will and that can be hard to trace if you’re not keeping your eyes peeled from the get-go. Vigilance will save you and your family from possible fraud.

How To Contest A Forged Will?

Here is the rundown of how you can contest a will on grounds of forgery in court:

  • If you have any doubt in your mind that a will has been forged and you need to do something about it, then you need to contact your probate attorney Largo because they will help you out in the best way.
  • You need to get a handwriting analysis report and that can only be obtained through a lawyer, so get lawyered up as soon as possible before it’s too late and you can hit the ground running.
  • The forged will has to go through multiple screening tests that involve technical software and handprint analysis as well so that the code of fraud can be cracked easily and with precision.
  • You will also need to provide the necessary evidence to the lawyer and if you have any suspects in mind because that will make everything go a lot smoother.
  • The lawyer, once everything is compiled, will file a formal complaint in the court for a hearing of the forged will case.
  • Until the day arrives, you’ll need to strengthen your case and review your notes.


Forged wills can lead to a lot of issues since a fraudulent document isn’t legally valid in court. So, always be vigilant when you’re trying to go forward with a probate process and never forget to hire a credible estate litigation attorney Bowie.