- Wills and probate, missing Will, forged Will, burden of proof (Face v Cunningham)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Private Client analysis: The claimant was seeking an order pronouncing for a copy Will dated 7 September 2017 in solemn form. The defendants defended the claim on the basis that the copy Will was a forgery produced by the claimant. The judge held that contrary to what was stated in many of the legal textbooks, the burden of proof, in a forged Will case, rests on the party propounding the Will to establish that it has been validly executed and witnessed. Hence if fell on the claimant to prove that the copy Will was valid. The judge found as a fact that the copy Will was a forgery that had been fraudulently procured and produced by the claimant conspiring with her partner and the two attesting witnesses and that a copy of his judgment be sent to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). Written by Paul Lakin, barrister at Kings Chambers.
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