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How do I Bring Forgery Charges Against Somebody in Long Island?

by Albert Gurevich on September 2, 2014

How to Handle a Fake or Tampered Will

While not common, wills do get tampered with, and even faked all together, from time to time. Will forgery is not only immoral and no only leads to disputes in Surrogate’s Court, but it is also illegal. In fact, will forgery is a Class D felony in New York and can lead to jail time. If you have been the victim of a forged will, what recourse do you have outside of the Surrogate’s Court system against the forger besides simply working with a Long Island estate attorney?

To start, not all crimes need to be handled directly with the police department, especially in the case of non-drug and non-violent crimes such as forgery. In a case such as that, it most likely will not be appropriate to call 911 to report that a will has been forged, especially if it was discovered through Surrogate’s Court proceedings or yours or your attorney’s investigation. The best choice is to go through the district attorney’s office in your county.

Contacting the district attorney’s office does not mean that you have to provide all of the evidence for them to make a case in any way. Turning over the evidence you have that leads you to suspect a will was forged and who you believe the forger was is fine. In fact, this could save you money in the long run since, if you pay your own attorney to do the investigation, you will be the one responsible for the legal fees. In contrast, if you report the forgery to the district attorney, they will be the ones who pay for the investigation.

If the district attorney’s office decides that there is sufficient evidence of will forgery and have a suspect, they will bring the person or persons responsible for the forgery before the criminal court system and possibly bring them to trial or enter a plea bargain. If the forger is found guilty or pleads guilty of the forgery, they could be sentenced up to 7 years in prison under New York law. Additionally, they may have additional issues related to being a felon and having a criminal record, including issues finding a job, getting professional licenses, living in an apartment complex that does criminal background checks or one of many other issues that felons face every day. Will forgery, like any felony, is not a crime to be taken lightly, even if it is a non-violent offense.

If you would like to press criminal charges, contact Nassau or Suffolk County District Attorney’s office. If you suspect that a will has been forged in some way, and you are trying to overturn the will in a civil proceeding, the best thing to do is still to speak to a Long Island estate attorney. For a free case evaluation, call us at (516) 777-0647 and speak with an attorney today.



How do I Fight Allegations of Mismanagement of a Long Island Estate?

August 19, 2014

Make Sure to Protect Yourself as Executor When the testator dies and you are appointed executor, you are facing a responsibility that is akin to having a job. From the date of the death, you have specific things that need to be done to ensure the proper administration of the will. However, there are some steps […]

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Persons Excluded from Serving as a Long Island Executor or Administrator

August 8, 2014

An executor or personal representative of a Long Island estate has a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries and heirs to act in a responsible and legal manner. Under the New York Probate laws, specific persons are excluded from serving as executors or personal representatives of a Long Island estate including the following: Persons under the […]

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What are Normal Attorneys’ Fees on Long Island?

August 4, 2014

How to Avoid Paying too Much One of the first things that most people want to know when they are looking to litigate and estate or probate a will is how much the entire procedure will cost. In fact, when it comes to attorneys’ fees, there isn’t a sure answer since there are many factors […]

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Can an Attorney who Made a Decedent’s Will Represent the Executor in Court?

July 30, 2014

Determining the Effect of Ethical Concerns When Administering an Estate A family of someone who recently died may desire to have the same attorney who did the estate planning represent the executor. Attorneys, on the other hand, have to be concerned with their ethical responsibilities and making sure that there is no conflict of interest. […]

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Is Real Estate Included When Calculating Executor Commissions on Long Island?

July 23, 2014

Serving as executor is a huge responsibility. It is for that reason that it is written into the law in New York that when a person serves as executor, they are entitled to a commission that equals a percentage of the estate based on the total amount of that estate. Determining the amount of the […]

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Totten Trusts on Long Island

July 23, 2014

Totten trusts stem from a 1904 New York case where the Court of Appeals held that someone could open up a financial account, such as a bank account or securities account, and make someone the beneficiary of that account, giving the beneficiary access to it only after the owner died. Sometimes these are also referred […]

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How Do I Find Assets That are Hidden From an Estate?

June 10, 2014

When a Long Island decedent passes away, the executor or personal representative of the estate must located all of the decedent’s assets. This may entail finding hidden assets that the family may not have been aware of which the decedent may have held in the decedent’s sole name at the time of death. The personal […]

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What are the Responsibilities of a Trustee?

May 29, 2014

A trustee is appointed by the maker of the trust and maintains the position on a long term basis unless the trustee is removed for good cause, resigns or dies. The trustee is considered a fiduciary and must at all times at in the best interests of the beneficiaries. The trustee must manage the trust […]

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Who is Entitled to Receive a Copy of a Trust on Long Island

April 8, 2014

Since trusts are not part of the public records, the only persons entitled to copies of a trust instrument are beneficiaries. A beneficiary could make a request that the trustee provide a third party with a copy, but the trustee does not necessarily have to comply. The trustee has the discretion to decide who gets […]

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