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How may fraud factor into the administration of a will?

| Dec 19, 2019 | Estate Litigation |

Fraud is a legal concept that is often tied to the criminal justice system. When a person commits fraud, they have or have sought to have themselves enriched through deceitful actions or omissions. Claims of fraud often arise in business settings, but New Jersey residents may be interested to know that fraud may also arise in the administration of estates.

It is often when a person is creating their will that they may become the victim of fraud. For example, they may be given wrong information that is intended to deceive them into benefiting one party more in their will than others. If the person creates or rewrites their will to unduly benefit someone who has committed fraud, then the responsible party may be subject to legal action.

Claims of fraud in the preparation and administration of wills can lead to will contests. A will contest is a challenge to an administered will and occurs after an individual has passed away. When beneficiaries and other interested parties believe that someone influenced, took advantage of, or defrauded the will creator, they may seek to have the will set aside.

Fraud may alter the testamentary plans of a will creator and may wrongfully enrich parties who commit acts of fraud against them. Individuals who learn of frauds that have been committed during the preparation and administration of wills may share their claims with trusted estate planning attorneys. Action may be taken to stop the perpetuation of fraud through will challenges and contests, and legal advisors can help those who fear that fraud has altered the estate plans of their loved ones.

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