It is generally difficult to challenge a will on the basis that the signature has been forged. The courts will start from the assumption that it is unlikely that the will has been forged and will need very convincing evidence that a fraud has taken place. The Courts will typically consider the witness evidence of those who are alleged to have witnessed the signing of the will or in some cases those who witnessed the forgery. It is often better therefore to consider other possible alternative claims but last year the High Court were asked to consider three forged will claims of which two were successful as a result of the Courts assessment of the witness evidence. In the case of Watts v Watts the court accepted the evidence of a nurse who witnessed the forgery and in Haider v Syed the Judge rejected the attesting witness evidence as lacking credibility.
In the past year, the High Court has been asked to determine whether a purported will is a forgery on three different occasions. This is an interesting development because there is often a perception amongst lawyers that contested will forgery actions rarely reach trial.