Man Guilty Of Forgery Related To Inheritance From Mother’s Estate

Trial Related To Fraud Held At Bristol Crown Court


A Gloucestershire man has been found guilty of fraud after forging signatures of his mother and brother in order to prevent the latter from getting his share of an inheritance when their parents passed away.

Bristol Crown Court heard that Peter Howes, 53, had faked the signatures in order to wind up trust funds, while he also cashed in life insurances without telling his brother who lived in Singapore and siphoned off proceeds from the sale of his mother’s home.

This was despite the fact that a letter written by their father and sent to both brothers stated that the estate should be divided equally between them.

According to reports, Howe’s actions were only uncovered after the death of their mother and when his brother, Jonathan, checked bank accounts and was discussing his mother’s will with family lawyers in 2011.

Peter Howes’ wife Jane, 51, was acquitted of a single charge of fraud during the trial.

Expert Opinion
A case of this nature reflects just how seriously the courts view cases related to the forgery of documents, as well as how carefully such instances are examined.

"Worryingly, such cases are not uncommon and we have seen scenarios in the past when disputes have emerged between relatives and friends related to claims that documents related to a loved one’s estate have been forged in order to deprive certain parties of the inheritance which is rightfully theirs.

"It is absolutely vital that those with involvement in the administration of trusts or estates always meet their responsibilities, as failure to ensure that the wishes of the deceased are met can have significant consequences.

"We would also urge anyone with concerns that they have been affected by similar issues to always seek advice at the earliest opportunity to see if there may be some form of legal redress in relation to the problem."
Paula Myers, Partner