Taking the time to do estate planning may prevent many problems in the future. In fact, estate planning may be able to reduce instances of duplicate or forged wills. This issue recently popped up in a nearby state that Texas readers may find interesting.

When a Tennessee state representative and former firefighter died in November of 2010, a Memphis firefighter and her two co-workers are alleged to have produced a document that they claim to be the man’s last will and testament. Under the terms of that will, the man’s $100,000 estate was to go to the three women.

One of the women claims to have been the man’s girlfriend, although the man’s family disputes that. They say they don’t know the woman.

The man’s family does believe, however, that the will was forged. This past May, a judge found support for their contention when two handwriting specialists determined that the signature on the will did not belong to the late state representative. Now it appears that the case may finally be brought to a close. The local district attorney in Memphis, Tennessee has indicted the three firefighters on charges of forging the will.

In this case, the family no doubt spent considerable funds and emotional energy in seeking to prove the will was indeed forged. To prevent such problems from occurring in the first place, it is often helpful to have one’s last will and testament filed with a trusted person or in a safety deposit box. To prevent problems of this type, as well as many others, it is also beneficial to undergo the estate planning process with the aid of a professional.

Source: WMCTV, “3 indicted for forging lawmaker’s will,” Kontji Anthony, Dec. 12, 2011