If the note is meaningless, is there anyway I can be kept from the inheritence?
There is no way any lawyer on this quick internet forum can answer that question for you. If an estate is being probated it is difficult, but not impossible, to keep someone from an inheritance. If you want to be sure you are not kept from your inheritance you need to be on top of it, and I know of no better way to do that than by filing a caveat in the county where your relative died, and staying on top of the Estate. I think it's often hard for a non-lawyer to do this, that's why I strongly suggest, if you are this worried, that you hire an attorney.
Yes, I understand. I appreciate your time. I asked just for the benefit of information on whether I need to file anything saying I am not represented, or that I contest the handwritten note even being considered, or that I am interested - or would the court even care if I am interested or not and just go ahead and make a decision. Again, I understand the complexity of each case makes answering specifics impossible. I cannot afford an attorney, and there is enough drama in the family, so I just wanted to know if there were papers I should file to make my interest known to the court. Thank you again for your time.