No matter how hard a Massachusetts resident tries, there is always the possibility that an heir or beneficiary will not be happy with an inheritance -- or the lack of one. That person could file a will contest with the probate court, which could delay the distribution of the estate and cost it additional monies that could otherwise be distributed. That is why it is important to design and update wills in order to forestall the potential for those who are disgruntled to cause problems after a family member passes away.
The question is how to prevent -- or at least limit -- this potential. The first line of defense is often to include provisions in the will that penalize anyone who contests the will. Such "no contest" provisions are most effective when the potential contest comes from someone who is already receiving a share of the estate, but believes that he or she is entitled to more. The provisions can either reduce an inheritance by a certain percentage or deny it all together.