When a person creates a will, they expect it will be followed upon their death. Most of the time this is the case, but, occasionally, a will contest occurs and probate litigation becomes necessary. A more extreme case of this occurred recently.
An odd case has recently emerged in a fake will case. A man died in a car accident in 2015. His son and brother searched his home for his will but could not find the document. The man’s girlfriend’s mother came forward saying she had the document. She gave it to an attorney and did not show the man’s family. It was later determined that she had created the document six days after the man died. The falsified document had left the majority of the man’s large estate, estimated to be worth $1.7 million, to the girlfriend instead of to his son. The girlfriend and her mother have been charged with wire fraud and lying to the FBI. A judge has also ordered the man’s body be exhumed to confirm the cause of death.
No one expects their loved one’s will to wind up in a probate dispute. But, there are many circumstances that can lead down this path. If a family finds themselves involved in a dispute, an attorney who specializes in probate litigation can be a good resource. They can offer recommendations and provide mediation and help with other conflicts. There are many instances where a probate dispute can be worked out without involving the expense and time of going to court.
Most people’s estates are settled without any problems. But, when a dispute arises, it is important to have an attorney who is skilled in probate litigation to help.
Source: arkansasonline.com, “Judge orders Arkansas man’s body be exhumed in fake will case,” Brady Gill, Feb. 24, 2018