Son names himself as sole beneficiary in father’s Will

Published: 02/05/2014

A 51-year-old man has pleaded guilty to forgery, fraud and theft after faking his father’s Will so he could inherit his entire estate.

Peter Brightley, from Telford in Shropshire, was only meant to receive £11,000 of the £49,000 estate of his father, Trevor with his brother also supposed to inherit an £11,000 share. Four charities – the Royal British Legion, St Barnabas Hospice in Lincoln, Barnado’s and the Prince’s Trust – were also each meant to benefit from a £5,800 gift with pet charity, PDSA, to receive a gift of £2,500.

But when Mr Brightley was contacted by his father’s solicitors and asked to confirm if the Will they had in storage was his father’s most recent Will, he returned an ‘updated’ Will which named him as the sole beneficiary.

Alarms bells were raised however when the solicitors realised the signature on the ‘new’ Will bore no resemblance to that of the one on the previous Will.

Mr Brightley confessed to the forgery two days later but was spared jailed after a court heard he was the full-time carer of his disabled wife. He has since repaid £33,029 of the money taken but still owes £3,158.

Linda Cummins, Head of Wills and Probate, comments on the case:

“This is a sad case but fortunately the solicitors involved were alert to the forgery and are able to deal with the situation to ensure all the intended beneficiaries will receive the gifts as Trevor Brightley intended.”

Content correct at time of publication

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