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Fisher Forensic Document Laboratroy Inc.

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Ms. Fisher provided excellent analysis in a very difficult and complex matter requiring the evaluation of many important amendments to a trust document which disinherited two parties of about $2 million in assets.

Probate, Trust, and Financial Elder Abuse Cases

Questioned documents – documents in dispute

The signature on a copy of the newly produced will looked like the genuine signature of the decedent. But why would the decedent sign a new will now giving everything to his nephew who had earlier attempted to burn down his home?

Questioned documents frequently arise in probate, trust, and financial elder abuse cases in which a person or entity - for self interests or gain - diverts an estate, or finances and property.

Perpetrators in such fraudulent action can be just about anyone - from family member, friend, neighbor, caretaker, to an entity. It is not uncommon for professionals or institutions - even religious organizations - to create fraudulent documents to take over an elder's finances or estate.

In the above case scenario, circumstances revealed two significant red flags:

These two red flags justified removing the questioned will from the court for testing and obtaining all the available handwriting standards, which included dozens of documents covering a period of more than 20 years.

Subsequent microscopic examinations and comparisons of each corresponding letter in the questioned signature and date eventually proved that they were not written by the decedent. Meticulous examination of aspects from letter formation to over-exactness of signature determined forgery.

Almost daily, cases are in the news that describe financial elder abuse. Perpetrators can include attorneys, accountants, and even recently a judge who was charged with financially abusing his elder neighbor.

Document Types

Documents commonly in question in probate, trust, and financial elder abuse cases include:

Did the Decedent Substitute a Critical Page in the Trust? - Or was it His Son?

Not every document that is challenged turns out to be forged, fabricated or altered.

In a recent trust case, the question was whether a the critical page had been substituted. The answer came after collecting comparison standards that remained on the decedent's computer. Testing the substituted page with one of the known valid documents provided probative evidence that the decedent had replaced the page himself.

Need help? 30 Years experience available as your resource

Ms. Fisher understands has more than 30 years experience in questioned documents in probate, trust, and financial elder abuse cases. Her experience spans over 3000 cases working with attorneys and their clients. She can help to quickly assess potential red flags and help determine a need for further investigation, and examine potentially suspect documents before they are presented to the court.

One law firm specializing in probate and financial elder abuse cases explains how they have used the services of M. Patricia Fisher for the past decade to resolve the questioned documents in their cases. Link to Barr and Barr Letter


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