Disputed Wills

It is bad enough to lose a loved one, let alone to discover a last will and testament that the heirs did not know even existed. Such a will might not actually have been signed by the testator and is therefore not a true reflection of the deceased’s wishes in regard to the distribution of the estate.

“This doesn’t look anything like daddy’s signature!”

When a last will and testament bears testators’ or witness signatures that look odd, unusual or in any way different from the norm, these are known as ‘questioned signatures’. In such cases, a signature verification examination is required.

Very often in cases of disputed wills a handwriting expert has to decide whether the signatures on the will are distorted due to weakness or ill-health (especially if the testator was close to death at the time that the will was drawn up and signed) or whether they are evidence of fraudulent activity.

As a certified forensic document examiner CFDE® I apply internationally-recognised techniques to cases of disputed wills.

My services include:

  • Consultation
  • Site visit to the Master of the High Court to inspect the original will and take digital photographs of suspicious signatures.
  • The inspection may also yield evidence of document tampering.
  • Examination of questioned & known signatures by means of a detailed comparison.
  • High standards of reporting excellence, working to international standards of evidence presentation and proof of opinion.
  • Graphic charts can be prepared to illustrate the differences and/or similarities in sets of signatures.
  • Testimony at trial.