When someone that you are close to dies, you may inherit property from their estate. Parents and grandparents are among those who frequently provide an inheritance to their descendants.
You may have certain expectations regarding your inheritance when a family member dies, only to have those expectations disappointed when you read the will. You may suspect that there is something wrong because the terms included in their documents seem to deviate from the wishes they expressed throughout their life.
In your frustration, you may start to wonder about whether you should file a challenge in probate court because you suspect there is something wrong with the estate plan. Is there anything at risk if you contest a will in Massachusetts probate court?
Probate proceedings will diminish the estate
The possibility is there for certain family members to challenge a will. If there is evidence of fraud or if you believe that your loved one no longer had testamentary capacity when they signed these new documents, evidence supporting your concerns could help you convince the probate courts to intervene.
Unfortunately, that process will likely require many hours of probate time legal support. Typically, the costs affiliated with challenging an estate plan will come out of that estate. The longer it takes to resolve the issue, the more the process may diminish the assets that you stand to inherit.
Sometimes, a challenge could lead to disinheritance
If the testator included a no-contest clause, bringing a challenge could be risky. No-contest clauses disinherit someone for challenging the last wishes of the testator. Reviewing the estate plan or will for this clause can help you determine if your inheritance could be at risk if you try to go to court.
Probate challenges can damage family relationships
Few things damage the bond within a family like disputes about money and inheritance rights. Especially if your actions will diminish the inheritance of someone else in your family, the relationship you have with that person and anyone sympathetic to them will potentially suffer.