Eight year sentence upheld for will forgery

16 November 2018

A former solicitor, Iain Macmaster from London, has had his 8 year sentence upheld at the Court of Appeal for the forging of the will of his friend Claire Gordon, an actress, who died in April 2015 aged 74.    

Claire Gordon, who was single with no children, fell ill with a brain tumour in December 2014.  Following her death Ian Macmaster asserted that Claire had executed a will entirely in his favour.  Claire's family refused to accept that the will was valid and they claimed it was a clear forgery.

At Mr Macmaster’s trial in Southwark Crown Court a handwriting expert found that the signature on the will was unlikely to be that of Claire Gordon's. Iain Macmaster was found guilty by a jury of fraud and false representation. As a result the will was declared invalid.

When a will is declared invalid, the will which immediately preceded it becomes effective. In the event that there were no other valid wills, the deceased's estate is distributed in accordance with the intestacy rules. 

If you have any concerns that a will has been forged please contact Bernadette Baker or a member of the Contentious Trust and Probate Team. Law covered as at November 2018.