Monday, October 08, 2012

FORGED WILLS : Courts hear of Scotland’s new growth industry as bitter family members alter, forge terms of wills in fraud scam to grab cash & assets for sole use

court of sessionScotland's courts hearing more cases of family members forging wills to grab cash, assets. SCOTS LAW FIRMS across Scotland may well be in for a mini boom period as the latest growth industry of FORGED WILLS appears to be resulting in record numbers of consultations & follow on litigation in Scotland’s court system, after firms report mounting instances where widowed partners & even parents of deceased love ones have been engaged in elaborate frauds to prevent other family members, relatives & even charities from receiving bequests & legacies left to them.

Speaking to Scottish Law Reporter today, a legal insider has identified numerous cases, ranging from wealthy & famous families battling it out over property & assets to small estates of only a few thousand pounds, where wills have been altered or forged by remaining spouses & ‘principal beneficiaries’ who have become intensely bitter & jealous towards even their remaining family.

He said : “A pattern in many cases is clearly emerging  where embittered spouses and even parents have altered or forged the wills & final wishes of their partners or children, simply to grab all the remaining assets for their own use in spite of written wishes dispersing awards & bequests to sons & daughters of deceased partners, other relatives and even charities.”

Many of the cases now floating around in Scotland’s courts, commonly involve allegations of falsified documents, multiple copies of wills where only the one most favourable to an ex partner or principal beneficiary has been used, misappropriation of assets prior to distribution, false information filed with HMRC to avoid paying Inheritance & Capital Gains Tax, and even cases where widowed partners have made fraudulent representations to banks & financial institutions where faked details of wills & assets have been used to obtain large loans.

While many of cases currently in the courts have not yet reached headline material, and may have some time to go before rulings are handed down, a recent case in Scotland’s Court of Session, SHARON McGEEVER(AP) as legal representative of her daughter Sophie Nicol Pursuer; against MAUREEN NICOL Defender: held that a mother had faked the will of her dead son in order to grab a house paid for by her son, so she could keep it for herself and not let it pass onto his child & former partner.

Of the above case, Court insiders have let it be known they were unimpressed with attempts by those who have forged wills to portray themselves as victims or use the ‘little old lady with no knowledge of the law’ syndrome in order to conceal significant financial fraud which in itself may well merit the application of criminal charges.

Cases currently in the courts and those awaiting hearing dates show a wide cross section of wealth, where claims of forged wills forged in residual estates ranging from the millions of pounds relating to sizeable and small residual estates the problem is not limited to Scotland’s wealthiest or most famous families

Scottish Law Reporter has previously covered the McGeever v Nicol case HERE, along with the full Court of Session opinion handed down by J Beckett QC, sitting as a Temporary Judge.


Anonymous said...

The public are learning from the lawyers.

Anonymous said...

When two people or groups want the same thing they can become enemies. Penman's profession will be rubbing their hands. How frail human relationships become over the old £££££££££££££££ signs.

Anonymous said...

The recession and sheer greed make a frightful combination in clients

Anonymous said...

l would be afraid to trust a law firm to deal with this sort of fraud. I am thinking of what Penman did. Scary.

Anonymous said...

Throw the forgers in jail and spread their names all over the papers

Anonymous said...

Beggars belief lawyers reporting fraud?

Anonymous said...

I am one of these cases whereby my psychopathic stepmother entered the offices of the city’s largest law firm, with an impostor, and had my fathers will changed to benefit only her family. The will is wholly inconsistent, whereby we clearly were principal beneficiaries, the signatures are an absolute joke, yet having been shown the evidence, the solicitors are lining up, one after another, to aid and abet in the crime. The solicitors refuse to co-operate with the police (who are currently on our side) or the family and are determined to complete the criminal act (obtain confirmation) even though I put a caveat in place a month before viewing the forged will as I knew she would do this. Clearly they are confident the police, court or fiscal will come to their aid at some point soon. We will be seeking absolutely maximum publicity when the case calls.