Like most testamentary documents, a will should represent the truthful and direct wishes that a testator has for the destination of their property after they pass away. An individual should always draft a will voluntarily and the final form of this document needs to accurately represent their desires.
Sadly, family members do not always respect the authority of a will. There are many cases in which people try to alter an existing will or ignore decedent’s wishes, in order to unfairly inherit property. A court would deem any of these actions fraudulent.
Fraud in Mount Laurel wills is a persistent, significant problem. If a testator is concerned that someone might try and illegally alter their testamentary document, they should seek the assistance of a tenacious wills attorney.
What Actions Make a Will Fraudulent in Mount Laurel?
According to the provisions of New Jersey Revised Statute §3B:3-2, if a will contains the signature of the testator as well as that of two witnesses, the court will label it genuine. However, many different fraudulent actions could quickly invalidate a will.
For example, people who wish to increase their share of inheritance may commit fraud by altering a will. An upset relative might strike clauses from a the testamentary document or add new provisions that the author did not approve.
Meanwhile, fraud can also occur when someone brings a false will to a probate hearing. For instance, an individual might author a new will with different stipulations that features the incorrect signing date. This behavior can be hard to detect, but a detail-oriented attorney in Mount Laurel could examine a will to help catch fraudulent actions.
How to Fight Against a Fraudulent Will
If a will appears genuine and well-constructed, a court usually validates it and begins the rest of the probate process. If this happens, an heir can file a “caveat” to indicate they believe a will contains fraudulent aspects. The only people who can file a caveat are heirs named in the will or people who would stand to inherit under the state’s intestacy laws should the testamentary document not exist. It is important to note that intestacy laws refer to regulations that govern what happens when an individual dies before they can draft a valid will.
In most situations, time limits control the submission of caveats. Anyone who alleges that a will is fraudulent must generally file their complaint within four months of the beginning of probate. Meanwhile, individuals living outside the state where the will was drafted have six months to act. A proactive lawyer in Mount Laurel could help relatives file their caveats on time and fight back against fraud in a will.
Consult a Dedicated Attorney about Fraud in Mount Laurel Wills
Fraudulently altering or fabricating a will is always illegal. These actions could result in serious criminal consequences and impact the efficiency of the probate process.
If you believe that a loved one’s will has been altered in any way, you should seek legal representation and file a caveat immediately. A committed lawyer has experience combatting fraud in Mount Laurel wills and could help your family uphold the integrity of the decedent’s testamentary documents. Reach out to the office today to get started on your case.