What Are The Three Types Of Will-Related Fraud?
If you suspect that there was fraud involved when your loved one’s will was created, you might have grounds to contest the document. However, it is important to know the types of fraud that can be used as grounds for contesting someone’s will.
Knowing how to proceed with contesting a will can help you make informed decisions and take appropriate action when you believe a will is fraudulent. If you are considering contesting a will on the ground of fraud, contact our Pompano Beach estate and trust litigation lawyer at Mark R. Manceri, P.A., for legal guidance.
Types of Will-Related Fraud
If you have reason to believe that your loved one’s will is fraudulent, you may have a right to contest the document. Under Florida Statutes § 732.5165, a will is void when the document is procured by mistake, undue influence, duress, or fraud.
Before taking legal action to contest a will, you need to identify the type of fraud you are dealing with. Generally, there are three types of will-related fraud:
- Fraud through duress. Duress is defined as an act or threat of harm used to coerce someone into doing something they do not want to do. In the context of wills, duress refers to any pressure or threats that are used by one party against another in order to persuade them into signing a document or agreeing to certain terms without their consent. This type of fraud could be grounds for contesting a will if there was no free will involved in the process.
- Fraud through inducement. Inducement is another type of fraud related to wills. It occurs when one party makes false promises or statements in order to get another person to sign a document or agree to certain terms without their full understanding or knowledge. This type of fraud can also be grounds for contesting a will if it was done with malicious intent.
- Fraud through active procurement. The third type of will-related fraud is active procurement, which occurs when one party actively attempts to influence another person’s decision about signing a document or agreeing to certain conditions without their full knowledge or understanding. This could include providing false information about the contents of the document in order to get them to sign it, using intimidation tactics, or making promises that cannot be kept in order to convince someone to take an action they would not otherwise take. As with duress and inducement, active procurement may be grounds for contesting a will.
Contesting a will based on one (or more) types of fraud discussed above requires careful consideration as well as legal guidance from an experienced attorney so that all potential options are explored thoroughly before taking any further action.
Talk to a Lawyer About Your Situation
If you believe someone has taken advantage of your loved one and got them to create a will through fraudulent means, do not hesitate to contact an experienced attorney. A lawyer will help you identify what type of fraud you are dealing with and gather all available evidence proving fraud. Our knowledgeable and detail-oriented lawyer at Mark R. Manceri, P.A., can investigate your particular situation and help you determine whether or not you have grounds to contest a will. Call 954-491-7099 to receive a case review.