Illinois Wills and Trusts – The Use and Limitations of No Contest Clauses

Web Admin - Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Grief from losing a loved one can cause irrational behavior in even the most level-headed of people. When an inheritance is factored into the equation, arguments between family members can become downright volatile. In some cases, things can become so explosive that it irreparably damages relationships. This risk is why many people choose to create wills and trusts; they want to reduce the possibility of family strife. Unfortunately, it does not always work. Miffed family members can still contest a will or trust. An in terrorem provision may help. 

In Terrorem Provisions

An in terrorem provision, or a no contest clause, is sometimes used to discourage the contesting of a will or trust. It specifies that an heir may either lose their inheritance or receive only a nominal amount of money if they contest the validity of their loved one’s will or trust. Unfortunately, it is not always enough of a deterrent, and contests are still possible. 

Contests Can Still Occur

You can take all the right steps and put all the protective provisions in place, but you still cannot completely control what family members do once you are gone. Some may still contest the will, fully knowing they are at risk of losing their inheritance. Granted, individuals with smaller inheritances are far more likely to do so, but even those with a substantial amount to lose may consider the risk worth their potential gain. In some cases, that gain may not even relate to the inheritance; it could, instead, relate to getting “even” with a family member. 

Enforcement of No Contest Clauses in Illinois

An in terrorem provision is not much of a deterrent if it is not enforceable. Unfortunately, the law in Illinois is rather vague when it comes to the enforceability of no contest clauses. At least one court has overruled a no contest provision, stating that the contest was filed in good faith. However, that does not mean that all no contest provisions will be thrown out. Assistance from an experienced attorney can decrease the risk of language issues in your will or trust. As a result, your wishes are more likely to be honored by both your loved ones and the courts. 

Contact Our Arlington Heights Wills and Trusts Attorneys

If you fear family members may try to contest your will or trust and want to reduce the risk with an in terrorem provision, contact Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC for assistance. Experienced and dedicated to preserving your estate, our Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers will carefully examine your situation to help you develop a creative and comprehensive solution. Schedule your consultation by calling 847-934-6000 today.

About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is a founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/ commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.


Recent Posts


Des Plaines Traffic Lawyer paid sick leave internet Illinois small business Arlington Heights criminal lawyer estate planning lawyer spinal cord injury rollover accidents gift taxes underinsured motorist living wills Rolling Meadows Attorney Inverness injury lawyer Illinois home inspection commercial leases caretaker rights Chicago car accident lawyer Arlington Heights injury attorney Mount Prospect elder law attorney taxes insurance negligence blended families Crystal Lake employment attorney Crystal Lake pet attorney Rolling Meadows litigation lawyer Fair Labor Standards Act Illinois collections attorney low-ball insurance settlement Rolling Meadows corporate lawyer TBI nursing home negligence Rolling Meadows traffic law firm Illinois defective products attorney estate planning, digital assets, Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, Illinois digital assets, Illinois estate planning, employment attorney life insurance lawyer DGAA pedestrian accident unpaid overtime Illinois rollover accident lawyers Schaumburg employment law attorneys startup company traffic offenses Arlington Heights pedestrian accidents real estate real estate attorneys living trust Rolling Meadows tax attorney Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer fiduciary rule trauma after an accident Des Plaines drug lawyer Crystal Lake car accident lawyer Illinois employment law attorney Crystal Lake law firm murder charges Crystal Lake estate planning lawyer Kenilworth estate planning attorneys Schaumburg insurance lawyers fiduciary rule delay Illinois attorney Illinois workers compensation lawyer Arlington Heights real estate lawyer Palatine criminal defense lawyer Retaliatory Discharge GM ignition switches Illinois Chicago estate planning Schaumburg employment attorney Palatine employment attorney criminal ken apicella Arlington Heights personal injury attorney medical malpractice installment contracts filing a medical malpractice claim trucking accident lawyers workers compensation benefits underage DUI insurance dispute Des Plaines real estate lawyer Long Grove estate planning attorneys Rolling Meadows employment attorney expungement Chicago corporate attorney independent contractor living trust benefits Schaumburg elder law lawyer subcontractor Inverness real estate lawyer Crystal Lake criminal defense attorney Illinois DUI attorney bad faith insurance claims Palatine workers compensation lawyer insurance dispute, insurance dispute lawyers, insurance claim denial, insurance claim delays, Rolling Meadows insurance dispute attorneys Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyers Schaumburg civil litigation attorney pain and suffering senior citizens Illinois employment law firm Rolling Meadows employment law attorney employment contract, employment law, employment at-will, Deer Park employment law attorneys, contract, license reinstatement medical research life insurance policy Palatine employment law lawyer elder abuse insurance agent negligence Schaumburg Palatine estate planning lawyer home inspection lawyer investment property Illinois will lawyer workers comp field sobriety test Long Grove wills and trusts attorneys liens Illinois mortgages Illinois traffic ticket lawyer rollover car crashes corporate law Deer Park accident attorney Illinois living will capital gains tax pet bites car accident Palatine corporate attorney IRA trust transfer breach of contract Palatine injury attorney DUI defense Illinois LLC creation insurance claim denials Palatine traffic accidents Rolling Meadows probate lawyer Class A misdemeanor employment law, Illinois employment laws Palatine probate lawyer Super Mario elder law Whistleblower Claims Home Sale Contingencies Illinois real estate lawyer Barrington injury attorney Landlord Tenant Ordinance Illinois lawyer child safety pedestrian injuries, pedestrian fatality Illinois personal injury attorney Des Plaines motorcycle accident attorney underfunded trust life insurance contracts Barrington civil litigation attorney denied insurance claims Deer Park employment law attorney Palatine business attorney business litigation Joliet general practice lawyers Arlington Heights tax lawyer Long Grove estate planning unfunded trust Des Plaines medical malpractice attorney Schaumburg estate planning lawyer Schaumburg Attorney wage theft Inverness corporate attorney slip and fall accidents criminal law insurance denials Des Plaines accident attorney blood alcohol content deed transfer personal injury, auto accident injuries, delayed injuries, serious injuries, Des Plaines personal injury attorneys Illinois car accident attorney denial of life insurance products liability Jay Andrew Crystal Lake personal injury attorney whistleblower protections Barrington drug crime attorney Employment Discrimination Law Long Grove estate planning attorney Barrington criminal defense lawyer license revocation problem employees defective products lawyer no contest clauses Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer Barrington estate planning lawyer marijuana rent to own real estate contracts car crash injuries Schaumburg wrongful death attorney commercial real estate institutional trustee Des Plaines personal injury lawyers South Barrington real estate lawyer Buffalo Grove corporate attorney Inverness elder law lawyer real estate lawyer estate plan Illinois injury lawyer insurance claim denial jet ski liability real estate closing estate planning attorney Crystal lake insurance dispute attorney Illinois pedestrian accident attorney medication errors Inverness estate planning lawyer special needs trust Deer Park motorcycle accident lawyer Illinois insurance lawyer Palatine insurance lawyer Rolling Meadows traffic attorney Crystal Lake employment law attorney automated cars traumatic brain injuries Illinois jet ski accident lawyer Legal Info life insurance claims insurance denial appeals Illinois wills and trusts attorneys insurance adjusters Illinois employment attorneys suspended license Inverness DUI lawyer motorcycle accident lawyer estate planning trusts Rolling Meadows marijuana attorney criminal record Schaumburg personal injury attorney personal injury claims wrongful termination, employment law, whistleblower protections, Illinois employment laws, discrimination in the workplace Barrington Traffic Lawyer clemency comp time distracted driving accidents employment law Barrington criminal lawyer texting and driving Home Remodeling Repair Act Des Plaines hit and run accident Illinois insurance dispute lawyers Illinois probate lawyer condo association mass shooting uninsured motorist appealing an insurance claim work unions Buffalo Grove traffic lawyers Kenilworth estate planning lawyer creditors unauthorized overtime Do Not Resuscitate commercial leasing tax attorney Palatine personal injury lawyer Crystal Lake tax lawyer condo mortgage Buffalo Grove probate lawyer Schaumburg drug defense lawyer Crystal Lake employment lawyer Illinois Probate Act of 1975 Illinois traffic accident lawyer Schaumburg real estate lawyer trustee Buffalo Grove medical malpractice lawyers speeding caregiver consent to a search Crystal Lake car accident attorney insurance claim dispute Illinois estate planning attorney drug crimes living trust vs will Deer Park real estate law firm Arlington Heights car accident lawyer loopholes controlled substance Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorney Des Plaines claims law firm drugs insurance claims Schaumburg corporate attorney Illinois elder law attorney Illinois medical malpractice case new real estate form Buffalo Grove insurance claim dispute lawyers Crystal Lake business law attorneys murder Chicago trucking accident attorney sexual images Arlington Heights employment law attorneys Rolling Meadows car accident lawyers wills attorney fees back injuries bike accident estate attorney Arlington Heights employment attorney preventable medical errors landlord surgical mistakes Crystal Lake insurance lawyer Illinois medical malpractice lawyers Affordable Care Act pedestrian-automobile accident car collision Des Plaines personal injury lawyer Palatine trusts lawyer holiday statistics Palatine law firm texting while driving Inverness traffic law firm Illinois wills and trusts insurance agents estate planning Palatine civil attorney civil litigation attorney loss of consortium digital evidence revenge porn pizza emoji right to work foreclosure Schaumburg injury lawyer Rolling Meadows accident lawyer personal injury lawyer llinois Real Estate Lawyers Association Illinois speeding lawyer Barrington personal injury attorney LLCs marijuana crimes attorney vacation home fines Mount Prospect real estate lawyer Deer Park workers compensation lawyer employee misclassification pet law fatal car accidents Illinois traffic attorneys Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers Crystal Lake pedestrian accident lawyer meal breaks Arlington Heights car crash attorneys Buffalo Grove employment lawyer Arlington Heights TBI attorney Illinois personal injury lawyer Barrington attorney Illinois civil litigation lawyer Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyer gift tax exemption, estate planning, estate planning strategies, Illinois estate planning, South Barrington estate planning attorneys Rolling Meadows Illinois medical malpractice claim changes to mortgage law Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneys compensatory time sole proprietorship landlord tenant law Palatine elder law attorney Chicago biking tips Attorney Ken Apicella Chicago employment attorney Illinois estate planning law firm Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act agent foreclosed rental property Liquor Control Act probate claims process Family Medical Leave Act sexual harassment minimum wage Crystal Lake will lawyer car accident lawyer Des Plaines DUI attorney employees Exclusions dram shop law Barrington Illinois estate planning lawyer drug crimes lawyer real estate zoning Illinois Human Rights Act Crystal Lake medical malpractice attorneys DUI boating under the influence employment lawyer traffic deaths Fourth of July Crystal Lake medical malpractice lawyer swimming pools Arlington Heights Traffic Lawyer Schaumburg estate planning attorney Colin H. Gilbert Crystal Lake medical malpractice law firm Des Plaines insurance attorney medical malpractice compensation insurance disputes, Illinois insurance disputes, Illinois insurance dispute attorneys, denied insurance claims, Arlington Heights insurance dispute attorneys insurance disputes Illinois law Barrington personal injury lawyer Des Plaines pet law attorney Rolling Meadows criminal attorney car accident lawyers auto accidents crossover accidents Illinois wrongful termination lawyer Palatine drug lawyer natural gas Arlington Heights trucking lawyer employee rights Buffalo Grove real estate attorney Illinois boating accident lawyer Crystal Lake personal injury lawyer workplace sexual harassment car accidents employment law, meal breaks, rest breaks, hotel employees, Des Plaines employment law attorneys probate process natural gas explosion Long Grove real estate lawyer Chicago estate planning lawyer Barrington real estate lawyer Palatine corporate law attorneys rest breaks Colin Gilbert slip and fall Des Plaines drug crimes lawyer Illinois bicycle safety Des Plaines personal injury attorney Crystal Lake traffic attorney motorcycle accident estate tax Arlington Heights Attorney Palatine construction attorney Des Plaines tax law firm liability claims Barrington medical malpractice lawyers pay when paid contract Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission bicycle dooring accidents Des Plaines criminal attorney fault based insurance Illinois insurance attorney license suspension Rolling Meadows business lawyer Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyer Rolling Meadows insurance lawyer Deer Park DUI lawyer Illinois red light cameras BUI Rolling Meadows drug defense attorney Illinois employment laws School Visitation Rights Act insurance claim delay Arlington Heights traffic attorney digital assets, digital fiduciary, estate planning, digital content, Long Grove estate planning lawyers real estate attorney Rolling Meadows insurance attorney Inverness accident lawyer construction contracts wrongful termination Arlington Heights accident attorney CAM personal injury financial advisors forming a corporation in Illinois insurance claim dispute attorney Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers health insurance dispute trust payments Deer Park criminal attorney bicycle accidents Arlington Heights insurance attorney driving Illinois employment lawyer Illinois workers compensation attorney Buffalo Grove injury lawyer Long Grove real estate attorney Barrington workers compensation attorney homestead rights Schaumburg probate attorney Rolling Meadows estate planning attorney employee discrimination Mt Prospect Attorney DUI attorney disability benefits trucking accidents Palatine civil litigation lawyer insurance attorney IRS Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyers Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyer digital assets Policy Cancellation traffic laws Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyer power of attorney healthcare Palatine Attorney personal injury law firm personal injury accidents college kids Barrington employment attorney Chicago attorney overtime pay Detainer Actions Des Plaines civil attorney in terrorem provision preventing accidents Buffalo Grove criminal defense lawyer rumble strips FSLA Riverwoods estate planning lawyer DMV IRELA Palatine traffic lawyer anesthesia errors trusts boating accidents Barrington estate planning attorney Schaumburg personal injury lawyer modern family estate planning Crystal Lake civil litigation lawyer Barrington employment law attorney Schaumburg construction accident lawyer traumatic brain injury privacy Chicago insurance law firm probate Crystal Lake accident attorney deadly crashes Inverness personal injury attorney estate planning, death tax, succession plans, business estate plans, Barrington estate planning lawyers Arlington Heights personal injury lawyer manufacturing civil litigation BAC medical marijuana FMLA Inverness probate lawyer Des Plaines injury law firm Illinois workplace lawyer Crystal Lake injury attorney guardianship attorney Deer Park medical malpractice attorney real estate leasing social media after death Thanksgiving healthcare claims license traffic accidents Deer Park traffic accident attorney Schaumburg criminal attorney truck collisions Chicago will attorney, social media platforms, Illinois estate planning lawyer, employment contract severance agreements Chicago employment lawyer Schaumburg personal injury lawyers unpaid assessment Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act car crash Illinois pet lawyer owner responsibility Schaumburg traffic lawyer distracted driving accident victims job lawyers Illinois business law atorneys dog bites product liability South Barrington real estate attorney Buffalo Grove traffic attorney PTSD residential real estate Barrington litigation attorney Schaumburg car accident attorney BAIID probate claims Buffalo Grove car accident lawyer power of attorney for healthcare Illinois insurance disputes Illinois personal injury lawyers Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer DNR Illinois driving without license Transfer on Death Instrument Illinois insurance claim attorney traffic violations irrevocable trust Illinois insurance claims lawyers Barrington employment law firm operating agreements Arlington Heights lawyer civil rights violation Illinois employment law attorneys first degree murder Illinois traffic laws Des Plaines real estate attorney dealing with problem employees drug crime Illinois trusts attorney personal injury claim Illinois workplace discrimination attorney traffic tickets drug possession Barrington business law firm advance healthcare directive Illinois real estate privacy laws Illinois registered agent Illinois criminal defense attorney insurance claim Barrington boating accident attorney wrongful death Deer Park personal injury lawyer drunk driving Inverness real estate attorney food poisoning Illinois business lawyer small business murder defense Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyer probate lawyer pedestrian accidents Rolling Meadows real estate attorney Illinois estate planning construction accidents, personal injury, wrongful death, Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys, workers' compensation Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer trench injuries medical malpractice claims digital information medical malpractice, missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medical mistake, Deer Creek medical malpractice lawyers Buffalo Grove personal injury lawyer IRA benefits Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers, insurance dispute workers compensation Palatine employment lawyer drunk driving statistics Self-Directed IRA Accounts ObamaCare breathalyzer test Rolling Meadows employment law attorneys Kenilworth estate planning attorney traffic crimes traffic violations defense comparative negligence personal injury attorney jet ski accidents accidental death benefits Des Plaines collections attorney Mount Prospect wills and trusts lawyers Illinois traffic attorney cell phone accidents criminal defense federal crimes Chicago will attorney vacation home wills and trusts Buffalo Grove law firm income distribution deducation boating DUI Chicago lawyer Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument ACA reckless homicide Illinois tax attorney defective products Illinois personal injury Illinois trucking safety Illinois corporate lawyer Chicago traffic lawyer brain injury Illinois medical malpractice attorney pregnant women federal regulations for LLCs denied insurance claim Inverness civil lawyer Chicago insurance claim attorneys Illinois Smoke Detector Act dynasty trusts POA Crystal Lake traffic lawyer car crashes Illinois employee rights attorney. real estate contract Deer Park traffic lawyer Schaumburg criminal law attorney eluding a police officer Buffalo Grove personal injury attorney Palatine punch death Rolling Meadows boating crash lawyer probate fees hiring employees involuntary manslaughter spinal cord injuries Palatine real estate lawyer Illinois construction accident attorney Illinois employment law Forcible Entry Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyers DUI penalities premises liability Inverness insurance attorney Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act construction accidents Illinois job attorney Illinois Sales Representative Act Crystal Lake bike accident lawyer icy parking lots overtime violations digital media accounts, estate planning, Arlington Heights estate planning attorney, Schaumburg estate attorney Arlington Heights estate planning attorney golf accidents hands free device estate planning for college students head on collisions cell phone tower data insurance dispute attorney Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney cell phone