Cutting a long story short: Reform of witness evidence in the Business & Property Courts
We were instructed by Mr D after his father passed away. Mr D was unhappy because his elder sister and his mother had obtained grant of probate in respect of a Will in which Mr D’s father had apparently left his entire estate to his sister and Mr D’s wife. Mr D alleged that the Will had been forged and/or it had not been properly executed so his father had died intestate, i.e. without making a Will.
Mr D succeeded in respect of both allegations because we were able to obtain evidence that the Will was signed after his father’s death. We obtained this evidence following an application to court for disclosure of all of the electronic documentation, which allowed us to identify the timeline for how and when the Will came to be prepared. We also provided a copy of the disputed Will (and other documents with the deceased’s signature) to a forensic handwriting expert. The expert produced a report confirming that, in her view, the Will had indeed been forged.
Eventually, because of this evidence, Mr D’s mother and his sister accepted that the Will was invalid and a court order was obtained that Mr D’s father had died intestate and so Mr D was entitled to share in his father’s estate in accordance with the intestacy rules.
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