Gloucester Couple Could Be found Guilty Of Pergury
Gloucestershire Live posted a report on March 5, 2019 alleging an elaborate fraud by family members of a deceased person. The case is still winding through the judicial process, but it certainly makes for a series of interesting allegations.
The prosecutor claims the deceased’s daughter aged 57 and her 76 year old husband forged the last will and testament of her mum after she died. However, they both deny forging mums will, and also claiming the document was genuine when they handed it to a wills and probate executive.
Forging Mum’s Will Down to Personal Differences Prosecutor says.
The prosecutor told the court the mother in her seventies disliked her daughter’s husband. “It appears she did not care very much for her son in law,” he said. He produced a letter she had appended to an earlier will. “Because my daughter Julie has no children of her own,” it read, “I do not want her husband or his family to benefit from my will.”
Accordingly, the elderly lady who passed on eighteen months earlier left her entire estate to her three sons. At the time of death her previous husband had the original document in his care. However, it seems this was no deterrent to her disenfranchised daughter forging mums will.
She and her husband obtained a copy of the will under false pretences from the grieving husband. They then used this as a template to create a false will to exclude the brothers and make the disenfranchised daughter the sole heir. Finally, they photocopied the deceased signature onto it.
The Prosecutor Alleges Two Witnesses Were Duped
The final step in forging mum’s will involved convincing two friends to countersign as witnesses without explaining it was a will. This effectively invalidated it because witnesses to a will must know that the document is intended to be that person’s will. Moreover, they must both witness the signature before endorsing the document.
Furthermore, the prosecutor revealed one witness signed in a pub, while the second, a neighbour who had stopped by to offer condolences did so over a cup of tea. “She duly did, did not read it, it was not read to her,” he alleged. “She finished her tea and then left.”
However, the wills and probate executive was not fooled when they handed it over. “You would not need to be a qualified lawyer to smell a rat. It was not sewn together as they can be, it was not bound, or even stapled together. The signature appeared to be copied and not in ‘wet ink’.”
The defence insist they acted in the deceased’s interest, because she had decided to disinherit her three sons “since they only came to borrow tools”. However time caught up with her, they said before she could. In fact, they are arguing “There was no intention to defraud, and all done entirely innocently” while forging mum’s will with the best intentions to do what she wanted.
The two ‘witnesses’ appear to be technical guilty of perjury no matter which way the case goes. However, they will get away with it unless proof is found they did so deliberately, and benefited personally in some way.