CBS reports that the family of slain Monica Beresford-Redman wants to have the signature on her will tested because they believe it is a forged signature. According to TMZ, Monica Beresford-Redman has two wills. One will was dated in 2004 and indicated her wishes to give custody of her two children to her sister. Another will that is dated in 2008 offers custody to the godfather of one of the children.
Monica Beresford-Redman's sisters have filed request in L.A. Superior Court to allow them to have a handwriting expert analyze the signatures and verify which will has her signature. The sisters have been denied requests for visitation rights of the children because Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff said it was not good for the children to be shuffled back and forth. The children are currently under the temporary guardianship of their paternal grandparents.
Monica Beresford-Redman was found dead in a sewer in Cancun in April. Her husband, former "Survivor" producer Bruce Beresford-Redman, is suspected of murdering his wife at Moon Place Hotel. Mexican officials have requested extradition of the man since he fled back to Los Angeles.
Generally, if you want to challenge a will, you may want to consult with a New York estate planning lawyer. Some of the issues that you can bring up with a contested will are:
- Age: The maker of a will must be 18 years of age or older. If the maker is not, then they must be in a state that permits younger individuals to draft wills if they are married, emancipated, or in the military.
- Mental State: The individual must have been of sound mind. Sound mind is when an individual knows what a will does and is aware of making one, understood who he or she was providing for with the will, understood what he or she owned, and was able to figure out how to distribute this property.
- Fraud: A will can be invalidated it the court determines that the will was drafted under fraud, forgery, or "undue influence."
There are other issues of contention such as witnesses, the contents of a will, etc. If you have questions about contesting a will, make sure you call a NY estate attorney today.
- Estate Attorney James DiPasquale Arrested In Forged Will Case (FindLaw's New York Estate Planning News Blog)
- Ask A NY Estate Attorney (FindLaw)
- Son Eric Koula Accused Of Inheritance Murder In Wisconsin (FindLaw's New York Estate Planning News Blog)