What Does a Probate Attorney Consider Fraud in a Will?

Nevada requires that most estates go through probate to ensure the right people get the items they inherit. You need to work with a probate attorney to start the process. Even if you aren’t the named executor who is responsible for the will, you can still be part of probate. Will fraud is a serious issue that can delay probate. It refers to anything the deceased did not want and can allow someone to contest it.

False Statements

Any false statements found in the will are an example of fraud. Nevada has laws that show who inherits an estate when someone dies. These laws include both the spouse and children as well as other family members when the deceased did not have kids or a spouse. Fraud occurs when someone tells the deceased anything that makes them change their will. They might lie and say that a child passed away. Someone who is not of sound mind may use that statement as justification to change their will and give their estate to someone else.

Witness Fraud

In Nevada, the person who writes the will must be 18 or older. The state also requires that the will have the signature of the deceased and two witnesses who were present. Witness fraud occurs when one of the witnesses lies. They might claim that they are of legal age when they are under age or list a different address when they sign the will. To make sure a will meets the state’s requirements, it’s helpful to talk with a probate lawyer in Las Vegas.

Forgery

Forgery is another type of will fraud that often occurs. The deceased must sign the bottom of the will for it to be valid in Nevada. If they are incapacitated and cannot sign it for any reason, they will need someone else to sign for them and fill out a separate document. One thing to keep in mind is that no witness can sign the document unless they have no interest in the will. You can argue forgery when one of the witnesses is now a beneficiary or you believe someone else forged the deceased’s name.

Nevada is one of the few states that will accept holographic wills. A holographic will is one written in the deceased’s own hand. It needs to state that the individual is of sound mind and body. The will also needs to state the person’s name and current address and the date they wrote it. Holographic wills are not as easy to forge as typed wills. Someone can mimic the deceased’s handwriting and produce a will that leaves their estate to another person not named as a beneficiary in another will. You need help to argue that the will is not valid.

Creation Fraud

Creation fraud refers to instances when someone affects the deceased’s mind as they create the will. You might have a mother or father who remarried after your other parent died. The new spouse may encourage them to leave their estate to them and claim they will take care of other relatives. Those who care for elderly people can also influence how they create their wills and what happens to their property. If you want to make sure your loved one leaves behind a valid will that benefits the people it should, work with a probate attorney in Las Vegas.

Date Errors

Many people change their wills over the years as their lives change. They might remove the name of a spouse who passed away or change the percentage of the estate they want to leave to their children. Some even change their wills when they adopt children or have grandchildren. The court will accept the most recent draft of the will, which can lead to fraud. Even if you have a will your loved one created with help from a probate attorney, another person can present a will with a more recent date on it that the court will accept. The new will takes priority over the old one.

Valid Will Issues

Probate lawyers in Las Vegas can help in situations where you believe that a will exists, but you cannot find it. When you create a will, you can keep a copy in a locked box in your home or another safe spot. You should file a copy in your local court, which helps your loved ones prove that you created a valid will before you passed. There is a risk that someone can destroy the old will or hide the only copy. This may happen when someone marries an individual and wants to inherit their whole estate. In Nevada, the spouse gets most of the estate, even if the deceased had children.

Choose a Probate Attorney for Fraud Claims

In addition to will fraud, you also need to keep an eye out for probate fraud. The most common example of probate fraud is when the executor uses funds in ways they should not. Nevada allows the will writer to name an executor to handle their estate. The executor must settle the estate, which involves paying bills and handing out property. This individual will also receive payment from the estate for their work. Probate fraud can happen when the executor takes money before they should.

Another type of fraud happens when the executor or anyone else claims that the deceased owed money that they did not owe. They might claim that the deceased owed them money or that they promised to pay for a new car. An estate planning attorney in Las Vegas can help create the deceased’s will and show any money they owed to others that should come out of the estate. Always consult a probate lawyer if you have questions or concerns about funds that come from the estate. You must investigate suspicious claims to protect the deceased’s last wishes.

Will Fraud Is a Serious Problem

Will fraud is a serious problem because of all the complications it can cause. In some cases, fraud will change the beneficiaries and stop loved ones from getting the items that the deceased left them. They may even find they receive nothing from the estate. Will fraud refers to false witness statements and issues that affect the will itself. You also need to be aware of probate fraud, which happens once probate starts. Protect the deceased’s last wishes and make sure that they left behind a valid will you can use in the probate court with help from a probate attorney in the area.

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