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Fraud

Fraud, in the context of a Will Contest, means proving that a beneficiary knowingly used false statements, which caused the testator to change the Will to benefit the beneficiary.

For example, a child lied to his mother, telling her that her other child was dead. The lie caused the mother to change her will, giving her entire estate to the child who lied. The Will is the result of Fraud.

Proving a Will is the Result of Fraud.

The judge hearing a Will Contest case can find the Will invalid due to Fraud only if he or she hears the proper evidence. Gathering this evidence will require depositions, expert witnesses, interrogatories, witness interviews, subpoenaed documents, and evidence presented following the Rules of Evidence and subject to objections by the Will’s proponent. Our experienced Will Contest Attorney will walk you through every step of this complicated journey.

Elements of a Fraud Will Contest.

The essential elements of a Fraud Will Contest are the lie, a change to the will, and that change damaging the interested party. All items must exist. If, in the example described above, the child lied to his mother, but the mother made no change, or the lying child gained no benefit, then Fraud did not occur. Further, proving that the deceased had diminished capacity will help the case. A person with a weakened intellect is more subject to manipulation than a healthy person.

Fraud Will Challenge Evidence.

Proving Fraud can be difficult, as often the only witnesses to the false statements are the deceased and the person telling the lies.

Who May Bring a Fraud Will Contest Challenge?

Only an “interested party” may bring a Fraud Will Contest Challenge. A person would become an interested party if Fraud damaged them financially.

For example, if a child’s lie causes a mother to change her will, reducing another child’s inheritance, only the damaged child is an “interested party.” Though others may know of the Fraud, they have no standing to bring the matter to court.

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If you have any questions about a Will Contest based on Fraud or any other estate law topics, please contact us to schedule a free consultation.

Klenk Law has focused only on Estate Law for more than two decades. We’ve seen it all, and this experience allows us to explain complex estate law and Probate clearly and concisely. If you are involved in Will Challenge Litigation, our experienced Probate Litigation Attorneys will make it easy for you to understand and provide top-notch representation so you can make the best decisions for yourself and your family.

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Ian Marchant

Mr. Klenk, quickly understood the circumstances presented and provided clear and concise advice. This advice provided me with the information I required to progress the case to my advantage.

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Ronald W.

Peter and his staff are very responsive and always willing to help my clients and in a cost efficient manner.

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Sharon S.

I contacted Peter through his website using the free consultation link for a question regarding a will. While I was expecting only a few minutes, it was a lengthy conversation. He made sure he understood the situation by asking many questions before offering advice. He then went through my options and results of each one. He left it up to me to decide if I wanted to proceed and did not push me toward one or another. His website has very useful information which I definitely researched before I called him. While I decided not to proceed at this time, I feel I had enough information to make that decision. I would not hesitate to hire him should I need to in the future.

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Peter provided outstanding advice and preparation of a will and trusts.

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Glenn P.

Peter Klenk ESQ is a thoughtful and capable attorney who we work with on estate planning issues. His firm recently provided us with new Wills, Power of Attorneys and our instructions regarding major health issues. These documents are important for estate and life planning. Peter and his team are masters in the complexities of Estate Law. We highly recommend Peter and his Associates to provide thoughtful advice and outstanding work on these complex issues of the law. Make sure your estate planning documents are up to date, and Peter can be relied on to do an excellent job. Well done Peter!

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