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When should you contest a will in Massachusetts?

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2022 | Estate Planning |

If you have lost a loved one and were caught off-guard by changes in their will, you may be wondering if it’s worth trying to contest the will. When a will isn’t what you remember or what you were told it would be, it makes sense to have questions and to investigate further.

There are several reasons why a person may contest a will. For example, if your mother passed away and told you that she was leaving the estate to you, you may contest the will if there was a last-minute change switching the beneficiary to her caregiver. You might also contest the will if you believe it is unfair based on the rights you’d be given by the state or if you think that the will is fraudulent.

Should you contest the will?

There are times when contesting a will is appropriate and times when it may not help you. For example, if a will was verified and has a no-contest clause, contesting the will may end up costing you more than you are able to gain unless you have proof of fraud or other major issues.

On the other hand, if you have a previous version of the will in hand and believe that your loved one was manipulated or forced to sign a new will, you might opt to contest that will and ask the court to recognize the will you have in your possession.

If you contest a will, you will need to go to probate court. You will likely delay the distribution of assets based on the will, which, while it is good for you, may be harmful to other beneficiaries.

If you want to contest a will, make sure you gather proof

If you plan to contest your parent’s will, get evidence of what you believe is wrong before trying to do so. Will contests are often difficult to prove, but if you can build up a case with solid evidence, you’ll be in a better position to try. If you’re convinced that something is wrong, it’s valid to want the court to intervene.