Son faked signature of brother to take £1.5m inheritance

By Lenore Rice

Bristol Crown Court has heard that a man was cheated out of his share of a £1.5million inheritance after his businessman brother forged his signature to wind up family trusts, as well as cashing in insurance policies and selling his parent's property.

Peter Howes had taken his mother in to live with him after she had a serious fall at home and required regular care. It is understood that he resented that his brother Jonathan moved to the Far East and therefore took no part in taking care of their mother. Peter was the executor of family trusts set up by their father before his death in 2002, and managed to wind up the trusts by faking the signatures of his brother and mother. It is also said that he cashed in two life insurance policies worth £100,000 and sold the family home for just over £1million. He had told his brother that he would split the sale proceeds with him but Jonathan Howes told the court that he had received nothing.

Jonathan Howes uncovered the forgery after the death of their mother in 2010, and police seized the documents in question. Peter Howes is facing 5 charges of fraud, and his wife, who countersigned one of the documents, has also been charged. Both deny the fraud charges against them, and the court hearing continues.

If you require legal advice about an inheritance issue, including how to contest a Will, how to write a Will, setting up a family trust, or any other matter, contact one of the solicitors at Wilson Nesbitt by calling 0800 840 9293.