One of the many good reasons why you should engage a professional to guide you through the process of making your will is to deflect any subsequent allegation that the document is a forgery. In a case on point, a solicitor’s accurate memory and convincing evidence proved decisive.
By his final will, a wealthy businessman left the entirety of his estate to his wife of 45 years. Following his death at the age of 92, one of his sons contended that the will was a forgery. He relied on, amongst other things, an expert document examiner’s opinion that there was a strong probability that the will had been created after his father’s death.
In rejecting the forgery allegation, however, the High Court noted that the will was drafted and witnessed by a senior partner in a local law firm. She testified that the deceased, who was already an established client of the firm when she was a trainee solicitor in the 1970s, was quite a character and that she remembered him well.
Although more than 20 years had passed since the will was executed, she recalled having met with him twice beforehand and that he instructed her consistently and clearly that he wished his wife to be his sole beneficiary. Having accepted her account, the Court found it unnecessary to consider the expert evidence.