Executor Accused of Will Forgery After Implementing Estate Plan

Posted on Aug 22, 2013

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Federal officials are accusing an executrix of drafting a fake will in order to steal the fortune of the late Martin Fewlas. Mr. Fewlas reportedly had acquired more than $2.2 million in assets before his death at age 74. He passed away on August 28, 2010, leaving his estate to a woman who lived in the same duplex. Relatives of the late Mr. Fewlas say the woman was merely a renter in the same building and did not have a meaningful relationship with the decedent.

Mr. Fewlas allegedly left behind a will that gave his entire estate to the woman, Margaret McKnight. McKnight filed the will with the probate court five days after Mr. Fewlas passed away. The will was filed by an attorney and named McKnight executrix of the estate. FBI investigators became involved after noticing that Ms. McKnight transferred nearly $2 million from the estate’s bank accounts into her own personal accounts over a 15-month period. She also transferred money to the two individuals who served as “witnesses” to the will.  

Federal agents conducted a forensic analysis of the signature on the will. They concluded that the signature was a fake, and that the person who signed it was trying to pass it off as genuine. McKnight is now facing possible charges of:

  • Identify theft
  • Mail fraud
  • Bank fraud
  • Wire Fraud
  • Illegal withdrawals of money from banks 
  • Conspiracy

Witnesses to the will, as well as the estate’s attorney, are also being investigated.

For more information about implementing an estate plan in California, contact the experienced Anaheim trust lawyers at the Law Office of James F. Roberts & Associates, APC, today. Call our office at (714) 459-5481 for a consultation.

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James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm