An accountant forged his dead mother’s will to take control of a slice in his family’s £160million palm oil business.
Girish Dahyabhai Patel from north London, used a blank document, pre-signed by his mother, before adding a will around it.
Mr Patel was caught out by forensic analysis, which revealed the faint indentation of her signature elsewhere on the paper.
At the High Court in London, Judge Andrew Simmonds QC found the will to be a forgery, meaning a previous will – leaving everything to his brother Yashwant – will stand.
It leaves Girish Patel with legal bills totaling an estimated £1.3million.
Mr Patel fell out with his three brothers in 2009 with legal cases ongoing in several different countries.
Yashwant, a doctor who lives in New York, came forward with a will, made in 1986, leaving everything to him.
The document was approved, but Mr Patel then launched a bid to overturn it, for the first time producing a document he claimed his mother had signed in 2005.
Judge Simmonds said: ‘I find that there were available to Girish blank papers pre-signed by the deceased which enabled him to forge the will, utilising a genuine but old signature of the deceased.’
Judge Simmonds’ ruling means that the 1986 will under which Yashwant gets everything – is Mrs Patel’s last true will.
Wills and Probate disputes can be very complex and require expert legal guidance to resolve matters as fairly as possible.
At Wrigley Claydon, we fight on your behalf to make this difficult time a little easier, whether you are bringing a claim or you are on the receiving end. We are experienced in this field and have won complex cases for our clients.
As it is an emotional time we deal with our cases sensitively.
If you are looking for dispute advice please contact us. Call 0161 785 3534 to speak to Shalish Mehta, in our civil and commercial litigation department or email email@example.com.
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