What to do if I just found out that my aunt and late uncle allegedly changed my grandparent’s Will and forged their signatures?

UPDATED: Jun 20, 2014

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What to do if I just found out that my aunt and late uncle allegedly changed my grandparent’s Will and forged their signatures?

This is after my grandfather was in the late stages of Alzheimer’s and my grandmother was incapable of signing anything due to her arthritic hands. My uncle had my blind great aunt sign papers she believed were for insurance after she broke her hip when in reality she was signing over the deed to her house to him. My great aunt was going to leave her house to my mother. My grandfather was originally going to leave his house to my sister. And my uncle was going to get the shop their former cabinet building business was in and some more property. Is there any recourse? What are the steps?

Asked on June 20, 2014 under Estate Planning, Alabama


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You can bring a legal action against them, as one of the (presmptive or likely) heirs or beneficiaries; if you can show that they forged signatures, lied to (committed fraud against) your grandparents, or exerted "undue influence" (unfair levels of coercion imposed on people who, due to age and/or disability, were not in shape to resist), you may be able to have the will and other transfers of assets set aside. However, the question is, will that actually help you enough to make it worthwhile? Your aunt and uncle are presumbly your grandparent's children; they would inherit before you under, for example, the laws of intestate succession (the rules over who gets what, if there is no valid will). It may be that they will still get most or all of the assets, just possibly in a less tax-advantaged way (for example: the house may be subject to estate or inheritance tax). Therefore, even if what they did is wrong, it may not actually help you to change it. Therefore, since you'd need an attorney's help to do this anyway, before filing any legal action, make sure the attorney advises you as to whether, if you won, it would actually be worthwhile for you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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