Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Two Men Accused of Forging Will

WillsTwo men in Ireland are accused of forging the will of an 82-year-old farmer. The farmer, Matthew Hayes, passed away on Christmas in 1998. The men, Noel Hayes and William O'Leary, have denied all wrongdoing and deny that they forged Matthew Hayes' will. The will in question would have left Matthew's entire estate to Noel. William and his brother Charles were the executors of the Matthew's estate. The allegations claim that all three, William, Charles, and Noel, were involved in the forging.

The Wexford Circuit Court recently heard that Charlie pleaded guilty for his role in the forgery "and was given an 18-month suspended sentence and had to pay €30,000." His brother and Noel are still on trial for the forgery. Charlie testified in court that day against his brother and Noel. In his testimony, Charlie stated that Noel and his brother came to his office before Matthew's death and told him that Matthew would likely die soon. He stated that Noel believed that Matthew's property should belong to his father through his paternal grandmother. Charlie also testified that Noel had a copy of a check signed by Matthew. Following the death of Matthew on Christmas, Charlie agreed to help his friend forge a will. Charlie admitted in open court that he wrote the will. Because Noel had reportedly been practicing replicating Matthew's signature, he signed it. At the time of the signing, Matthew was already dead for a week. While there were disagreements over the price of Charlie's services, he admitted that he received £12,500 for the will. The case is still on going.

See Two Accused of 'Complete Deception' Over Man's Will, RTE News Ireland, Jan. 17, 2013.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.


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