Authenticating a signature means determining whether or not it is real or fake. If you’re trying to find out if a signature is real or fake, you might consider hiring a forensic handwriting expert. These experts can test the paper, ink, and age of the signature to determine its authenticity. They are often hired by people who are trying to establish the value of an item, such as a baseball card or painting. They may also be hired in cases where there is a dispute over a will or other legal document, and the authenticity of the signature on that document is in question. In these cases, a lawyer may recommend hiring a handwriting expert to help with the case. It’s also possible that a court may recommend hiring a handwriting expert to help determine the authenticity of a signature in a probate case. Probate courts deal with the distribution of a deceased person’s estate and often involve disputes between family members. If you’re involved in a case like this and the authenticity of a signature is in question, a handwriting expert may be able to help determine whether the signature is real or fake.
Here are some general steps that can be followed when authenticating a signature:
- Compare the signature to known examples: This involves comparing the signature in question to other known examples of the same person’s signature. This can be done manually, by visually comparing the signatures, or with the use of specialized software that can analyze and compare the handwriting.
- Examine the handwriting and penmanship: A skilled forensic document examiner will be able to analyze the handwriting and penmanship of the signature to determine whether it is consistent with the person’s known writing style. This may involve examining factors such as the size, shape, and spacing of the letters and the overall appearance of the handwriting.
- Analyze the physical characteristics of the document: The physical characteristics of the document can also provide clues as to the authenticity of the signature. For example, the type of ink used, the pressure of the pen strokes, and the age of the document can all be analyzed to determine whether the signature is genuine.
- Use specialized techniques and equipment: Forensic document examiners may also use specialized techniques and equipment, such as microscopes and scanners, to further analyze the signature and document. These techniques can provide additional information and help to confirm or refute the authenticity of the signature.
- One expert in this field is Bart Baggett, a forensic document examiner who has extensive experience in handwriting analysis and signature authentication. Baggett has written several books on the topic and offers training and consulting services to individuals and organizations.